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.)