Kids with More Fat Have Arteries of Adults

AUGUSTA, Ga., April 13 (UPI) — Children who are overweight or obese and have less endurance had stiffer arteries compared to leaner and fitter children, U.S. researchers found.

Principal investigator Dr. Catherine L. Davis, a clinical health psychologist at Medical College of Georgia, said stiff arteries are an indicator of atherosclerosis, an adult condition in which blood vessels become clogged.

“When children at such a young age start getting diseases only adults used to get, it’s like the sky is falling,” Davis said in a statement.

The study involved overweight or obese children ages 8-11, half of whom participated in physical activity like jumping rope and playing basketball after school. The other half were involved in sedentary activities like board games and crafts.

The researchers used a non-invasive measure of pulse wave velocity — a measure of arterial stiffness — and found children with a greater body mass index, more body fat and less endurance had stiffer central arteries compared to leaner and fitter children.

The findings were presented during the 31st Annual Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting in Seattle.

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