Young children who are obese have a six times risk factor for developing high blood pressure, specialist doctors believe. High blood pressure can lead to significant and potentially deadly health complications in adulthood, including heart disease.
The most at-risk group is obese girls, who are 5.9 times as likely to have high blood pressure in adulthood compared to their peers at a healthier weight. Boys risk four times the chance of developing high blood pressure if they are obese.
Data used to create the recent specialist warnings was sourced from a new German study that studied teenagers and young children with obesity who developed high blood pressure in adulthood.
Doctors claim that the high likelihood of obese people developing unhealthy blood pressure is closely linked to eating habits formed in childhood. UK-based GPs have warned that easily accessible junk food puts the current generation at risk.
The family Heart Study, which was carried out in Nuremberg, Germany, shows that obesity significantly increases the risk of developing blood pressure, even in young children. 18.6% of obese children involved in the study had high blood pressure.
This worrying statistic compares to a slightly lower 10.4% of overweight boys and just 5.7% of boys with a healthy weight. An astonishing 24.4% of all obese girls that took part in the study were found to have hypertension, compared to 5% of girls at normal weights.
Doctors have stressed the importance of developing healthy eating habits during childhood and avoiding high-fat, high-sugar foods that can contribute to serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Professor Schwandt, one of the researchers involved in the study, said: “Our study clearly shows that the fatter young people are, the greater their risk of prehypertension hypertension. Any weight loss they can achieve will help reduce their risk.”
For years, the conventional wisdom has dictated that diets rich in red meat, eggs or other high-fat foods worsens high blood pressure and heart disease. Now, the high-protein Paleo diet is thought to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
The diet, one of many high protein diets used for weight loss, focuses on eating lean meats, vegetables, and fruit and largely avoiding the processed grains – from bread to rice – that make up the bulk of the modern diet.
Research from a new Boston University study published in the American Journal of Hypertension shows that high protein diets could have a positive effect on people who are at risk of developing high blood pressure.
In the study, researchers carefully monitored the blood pressure readings of 1,361 people over more than 11 years and discovered that those with diets rich in protein typically had the lowest blood pressure scores.
The protein-focused individuals consumed both animal and plant proteins and ate around 102 grams of protein per day on average. People that consumed a protein-based diet had an overall 40% reduced risk of developing hypertension.
While many protein sources are ideal for optimal health, doctors and nutritionists warn against consuming large amounts of high-fat meats. The cut and type of meat can make a big different when it comes to health, particularly saturated far content.
Justin Buendia, the author of the study, spoke to Yahoo Health to clarify the study’s findings. He noted: “It may be that people who eat protein have healthier diets in general.”
“With higher protein consumption, you may eat less of other high-calorie foods. You may feel full sooner, and that would lead to lower weight, which would lead to beneficial metabolic outcomes, such as lower blood pressure.”