Obese children as young as five have dangerously high blood pressure

According to a new large scale study conducted by researchers at Oxford University, obese children have 40 percent higher blood pressure and 9 times the amount of blood cholesterol levels than healthy weight children.

The researchers conducted an analysis of heart health, blood pressure and cholesterol levels of 50,000 children aged between five and fifteen.
It was reported that even the youngest children in the study who were obese had arteries with severe fatty deposits meaning that their hearts needed to work significantly harder to pump oxygenated blood around their bodies.

More alarming results were that forty percent of the obese children had such severely elevated blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels that they were almost twice as likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack, in adulthood, unless their diet and lifestyle is considerably changed. Additionally, their chances of developing type 2 diabetes is considerably increased by being over weight.

High blood pressure and blood cholesterol can be caused by the type of foods that obese children eat as well as the quantity. Processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, crisps, fizzy drinks and ready meals have large amounts of omega-6 and very few nutrients, this can cause chronic inflammation within the arteries of the body, this makes it easier for fatty deposits to bind to the walls of the arteries.

Dietary changes are fundamental to addressing the problem with obesity in children. However, if parents and children alike could change their relationship with food; the improvements to health could be more significant and permanent. Mindfulness has been found to be hugely beneficial to obese or over weight individuals not only has it helped improve portion control, but individuals who eat mindfully have been found to be more conscious about exactly what they are eating.