Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease
Child obesity has become a big problem, especially in the US. Approximately one in three children is now obese, which is nearly triple the rate that it was at around thirty years ago.
So, why is childhood obesity, or obesity at any age such a big deal? The answer is because of the health problems that come along with the extra weight. One of the major problems is cholesterol build up on the heart.
Cholesterol is a plaque that builds up on your arteries (kind of like how food plaque builds up on your teeth if you don't brush them). Basically, when you have to much cholesterol buildup it makes it hard for blood to flow to and from your heart. On top of that, cholesterol plaques can burst, causing heart attacks and strokes.
The reason why heart disease is tied so closely with obesity is that fatty foods (saturated and trans fats) generally have more cholesterol than other food groups do. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and veggies. This is a problem that is rapidly becoming an issue of concern for many families. Studies have shown that overweight children have the cholesterol buildup of a 45 year old adult. This puts them at an increased risk of heart failure.
What can be done?
To battle heart disease and obesity it will take a concentrated effort. It is important to avoid high cholesterol foods like cheeseburgers and fried foods. Be sure to look at the labels on items that you buy. If there is a lot of trans fats or saturated fats, it is probably smart to stay away from them. Eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole grain foods.