According to a study published in Archives of Disease in Childhood journal, two thirds of obese children exhibit a problem with their health which is a contributor to heart disease. High cholesterol, blood sugar and high blood pressure may already be present by 12 years of age.
From 2005 to 2007, research was conducted in the Netherlands, collecting the data of 500 children, 307 of which were suffering from severe child obesity. Doctors in the UK have warned that the same problems could also be present in British children as type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in children from the age of seven years old.
More than half the children in the study were diagnosed with high blood pressure, a similar number had high levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol and almost one percent had type 2 diabetes. One case of child obesity in the group could be linked to medical problems rather than lifestyle. Almost one third of children who were classed as severely obese came from a single parent family.
Official data in England for boys aged between two and 15 years old indicate that the proportion of boys suffering child obesity rose from 11.1 percent in 1995 to 19.4 percent in 2004. However, since 2005 the figure has fallen to 17.1 percent in 2010. The number of obese girls also increased between 1995 and the year 2005 but fell to 14.8 percent in 2010.
The study indicates that children suffering from severe obesity could be at risk of heart disease at a much younger age.