Heavy Teens at Risk of Heart Disease as Adults

dangers teen overweightCNN posted an article this week about a new study finding that teenage boys who are overweight – even just slightly overweight – are at an increased risk of heart disease later in life. The study findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate that even if these teenagers slimmed down as they aged, they were nearly seven times more likely than their slimmest peers to develop heart disease in their mid-30s. However, carrying extra weight in teenage years was not linked with developing diabetes later in life. Rather, the development of diabetes is associated with being heavy as an adult.

The lead author of the study, Amir Tirosh, M.D., who is an endocrinologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts explains, “for those who don’t become obese as adults, the risk of diabetes goes down, but for heart disease this is not the case. You don’t get rid of the risk just by reducing the weight. The body remembers when we were running around with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI).”

The study authors also highlight the importance of lifestyle choices, such as eating well and exercising, as they play a part in decreasing the risks of heart disease and diabetes.  Two people with the same BMI can have very different risks for diabetes and heart disease if one of them exercises regularly and the other does not.

You can read CNN’s article here.


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