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More Children at Risk for Cardiovascular Diseases

The Medical Journal of Australia indicates that almost 30% of 14-year-old Australian children fall within a group identified as being at future increased risk of cardiovascular and lifestyle diseases with features of metabolic syndrome; including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

Dr. Rae-Chi Huang, from the University of Western Australia said that they have found out that 29% of children were in the high-risk category at the age of 14 years. Even at the age of eight years, 25% of children were at increased risk of future obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. “The magnitude of this problem which affects up to a third of our youth-needs to be urgently addressed by governments and health planning bodies” he further said.

The same edition of the Medical Journal of Australia presented data from the three most recent national surveys in which the weight and height of Australian children was measured. The data showed that the proportion of boys aged 7-15 years who were overweight or obese more than doubled from 1 1 % in 1985 to 23.7% in 2007. The proportion of girls aged 7-15 years who were obese or overweight also more than doubled from 12.2% in 1985 to 25.8% in 2007.

“This trend is a cause for alarm, given the widely-recognized body of evidence on the significant short term and long-term consequences of childhood obesity” said Dr. Lyn Roberts, co-author of the study.

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