Archive for October 25th, 2007

What Happens To The Heart Of An Obese Child?

October 25, 2007

2069806394.jpgChildhood obesity is now becoming a major health problem not only in the US but also in the developing world. We know the consequences of our child becoming obese and how it will impact on out kids future in terms of their chances to become obese FOR LIFE.

What we dont know are the cardiac or heart consequences associated with increasing obesity in childhood.  This recent 2007 study published in the Journal of Cardiometabolic Syndrome looked at changes seen as markers that can lead to early heart problems among our obese children.


Childhood obesity is a major health care issue in the United States. This epidemic has important cardiovascular implications. Newer imaging modalities in obese adults have demonstrated abnormal systolic and diastolic cardiac function. The authors proposed to determine whether these abnormalities are present in obese children.

A total of 168 children were identified from our echocardiographic database. Body mass index for age was calculated.

Echocardiographic clips were analyzed using imaging technology to determine myocardial motion, strain, and strain rate. Patients at risk for obesity and those meeting criteria for obesity had increased late diastolic myocardial motion compared with normal-weight children. Obese patients had decreased systolic strain compared with normal-weight children.

As with adults, obese children have significant differences in diastolic function and strain. These abnormalities may be subtle markers for the emergence of future cardiac disease. (JCMS. 2007;2:30–34)


Children therefore are not immune to the structural and heart abnormalities associated with excess adipose tissue.  It is therefore not acceptable for parents to accept the old concept that since they are kids…lets allow them to gain weight because they are still in their growing years.  Now we know better…we are doing MORE harm than good to these children. 

It is likewise very important to educate our grandparents who tend to spoil our kids with the ancient concept of overfeeding and that overweight kids are healthier babies!

Times Have Changed..Begin the Year with Healthier kids!