Childhood obesity causes lasting damage to the body

May 30, 2017, University of Surrey

Obesity in childhood has long term health implications stretching into adulthood, a new study in the journal Obesity Reviews reveals.

Examining data collected from over 300,000 participants across 18 studies, researchers from the University of Surrey identified increased arterial damage and enhanced likelihood of pre diabetes in participants who were obese in . The damage, an increased thickness of these vital arteries, heightens the likelihood of an individual suffering from a cardiovascular ailment, such as heart disease, in later life.

Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and skin fold thickness measurements of over 300,000 children (average age of 10) were assessed and compared with results gathered from the same participants on average 25 years later.

Researchers discovered that obese children were pre disposed to 'pre-diabetes' (an inability to adequately metabolise glucose, which can later lead to diabetes) and thickening of arteries in adulthood, both of which can be detrimental to their adult health. Childhood BMI also proved to be an indicator of adult hypertension demonstrating that this indicator is useful in predicting illnesses associated with in adulthood. Due to limited data it is unknown if and skin fold thickness are indicators to future ailments.

Childhood obesity has become increasingly prevalent in the UK, with figures from the NHS National Child Measurement Programme indicating that 19.8 per cent of 10-11 year olds being classed as obese in 2015/16, a rise of 0.7 per cent on the previous year. The long term implications of to adult health and resulting cost to the NHS is unknown.

Lead author Dr Martin Whyte from the University of Surrey, said: "It is worrying that obesity is becoming endemic in our society.

"The adverse effects of are well known but what we have found is that obesity in childhood can cause lasting arterial damage which could potentially lead to life threatening illness. This is something that we need to address to protect adult health and reduce pressure on the NHS."

Explore further: Childhood adiposity linked to later risk of fatty liver disease

More information: O. Ajala et al. Childhood predictors of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. A systematic review and meta-analysis, Obesity Reviews (2017). DOI: 10.1111/obr.12561

Related Stories

Childhood adiposity linked to later risk of fatty liver disease

March 29, 2017
(HealthDay)—Childhood adiposity is associated with increased odds of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study published online March 29 in Pediatrics.

Being overweight in childhood may heighten lifetime risk of depression

May 19, 2017
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity suggests that being overweight, especially from a young age, may substantially increase the lifetime risk of major depression.

Study finds childhood fitness reduces long-term cardiovascular risks of childhood obesity

May 24, 2016
A new study from a group of international researchers has identified a potentially effective tool to reduce the long-term health risks of childhood obesity-aerobic exercise.

Central obesity ups mortality across BMI range

April 25, 2017
(HealthDay)—Central obesity is associated with increased risk of mortality even in normal-weight individuals, according to a study published online April 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Timing, duration of obesity impact adult diabetes risk

April 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—The likelihood of diabetes in young adulthood is increased for those who are obese as adolescents and those with persistent obesity, compared to those with adult-onset obesity, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Obesity linked to increased risk of early-onset colorectal cancer

October 12, 2018
Women who are overweight or obese have up to twice the risk of developing colorectal cancer before age 50 as women who have what is considered a normal body mass index (BMI), according to new research led by Washington University ...

The metabolome: A way to measure obesity and health beyond BMI

October 11, 2018
The link between obesity and health problems may seem apparent. People who are obese are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and heart disease. But increasingly, researchers are learning that the connection ...

Being overweight or obese in your 20s will take years off your life, according to a new report

October 10, 2018
Young adults classified as obese in Australia can expect to lose up to 10 years in life expectancy, according to a major new study.New modelling from The George Institute for Global Health and the University of Sydney also ...

Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic

October 9, 2018
Toddlers with asthma are more likely to become obese children, according to an international study led by USC scientists.

'Genes are not destiny' when it comes to weight

October 9, 2018
A healthy home environment could help offset children's genetic susceptibilities to obesity, according to new research led by UCL.

What did americans eat today? A third would say fast food

October 3, 2018
(HealthDay)—Americans' love affair with fast food continues, with 1 in every 3 adults chowing down on the fare on any given day.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.