Fat Kids Risk Adult Heart Health

Risks remains even if children shed extra pounds
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 5:29 AM CST
Children's Medical Center employee Terry Wade, left, lines up others behind EmmaLee Duckworth, center, 5, to play in a game of kickball during a program at Children's Medical Center to help families with...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Overweight kids significantly increase their risk their heart disease later in life, a new study has found. Those who carried extra pounds between the ages of 7 and 13 were much more likely to develop heart disease between 25 and 71 even if they were slightly overweight and possibly even if they lost the extra pounds, according to the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Those most at risk were the ones who were the heaviest at the age of 13. Researchers believe the information can be used to effect major changes in children's health. "If an intervention occurs during this short period of time to help a child attain and maintain a normal weight, the risk of heart disease could be reduced," said the lead researcher. Some 9 million children in the US are obese. (Read more overweight stories.)