It’s no secret that obesity is beginning earlier in life than ever before. In fact, childhood obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Fast food, a sedentary lifestyle, and the farming methods and processing that brings our food to the table are all contributing factors. Sadly, the earlier obesity develops, the harder it becomes to achieve a healthy, stable body weight.
Why does this matter? Among a multitude of complications, a heavier body weight in childhood appears to increase the risk for high blood pressure in young adulthood. High blood pressure is major risk factor for stroke, and sadly this devastating and often life-changing condition is on the rise in younger adults. A Swedish study published last year in JAMA Neurology reported that those young men who became overweight or obese around the time of puberty were 80 percent more likely to suffer a stroke compared to young men of normal weight.
The good news is that the risk can be reversed simply by losing weight.The same study found that if a normal weight is achieved by age 20, the risk appears to drop back to normal.
As I discussed with U.S. News and World Report reporter Don Rauf: “Kids are very resilient, and when problems are addressed at an early age, we can often avoid long-term consequences. In adulthood, that is less likely, as it is harder to reverse the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.
“This study gives strong credence to the argument that we need to fight for healthier meals and more physical activity for our kids, both at home and at school.”
To learn more, check out the link to the article below.