LONDON: Overweight four-year-olds have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six, raising the hazard of future heart attack and stroke, a study has found.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and the prevalence has increased at an alarming rate.
In 2016, more than 41 million children under the age of five were overweight.
“The myth that excess weight in children has no consequences hampers the prevention and control of this health problem,” said Inaki Galan, of Carlos III Health Institute in Spain.
“Parents need to be more physically active with young children and provide a healthy diet,” Galan said.
“Women should shed extra pounds before becoming pregnant, avoid gaining excess weight during pregnancy, and quit smoking, as these are all established risk factors for childhood obesity,” he said. (AGENCIES)