Food and Behaviour Research

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24 November 2014 - Science Daily - Obese children burdened by more than weight

High blood pressure and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are two emerging health problems related to the epidemic of childhood obesity.

In a recent study, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine sought to determine the prevalence of high blood pressure in children with NAFLD, which places them at risk for premature cardiovascular disease.

The study, published in the November 24 edition ofPLOS ONE, found that children with NAFLD are at substantial risk for high blood pressure, which is commonly undiagnosed.

"As a result of our study, we recommend that blood pressure evaluation, control and monitoring should be included as an integral component of the clinical management of children with NAFLD, especially because this patient population is at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes," said Jeffrey Schwimmer, MD, in the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study. "Hypertension is a main cause of preventable death and disability in the United States in adults, but much of the origin occurs in childhood."