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What is the link between childhood obesity and atherosclerosis?

Early signs of atherosclerosis, the buildup of dangerous fatty plaques within arterial walls, can be seen in kids as young as 12. Being even mildly or moderately overweight contributes to the development of arterial plaques, which are a precursor to heart disease. The risks increase as the child carries more weight; one study found that the arteries of obese kids had abnormalities similar to those found in middle-aged cigarette smokers. Atherosclerosis is also a byproduct of high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are commonly the result of a poor diet.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.