Obese children as young as three years old show signs of future heart disease, say US researchers.
A study of 16,000 children and teenagers showed the most obese had signs of an inflammatory marker which can predict future heart disease.
In all, 40% of obese three-to-five-year olds had raised levels of C-reactive protein compared with 17% of healthy weight children, Pediatrics reported. But more work is needed to prove the link with heart disease in later life. The study, carried out by a team at the University of North Carolina (UNC), looked at children aged one to 17.
Overall, nearly 70% were a healthy weight, 15% were overweight, 11% were obese and 3.5% were very obese. In the older age groups, the proportion of those in the very obese category with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) increased even further.
By age 15-17, 83% of the very obese had increased CRP compared with 18% of the healthy weight children…
[continues at the BBC]