A new study is warning that children are currently facing more factors that could set them up for higher risk of heart disease later in life.
The study from the Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute focused on groups of children over the course of two decades. In the process, researchers determined that the current generation of children weighs 11 pounds more on average than the previous generation, and that the prevalence of obesity has tripled in that same time period.
"If current generational changes were to continue at this rate, half of American children would be overweight in just two generations time," said the lead author of the study, Dr. David Crowley.
The researchers also noted that the current generation of children tends to have a higher body mass index than previous generations, as well as a heavier left ventricle in their hearts - which is known to be a red flag for heart attack and stroke risks.
Childhood obesity has long been of growing concern to healthcare professionals because of the lifelong medical problems it can lead to. A combination of preventive medicine and a healthy diet and exercise can usually hold off such problems, saving lives and contributing to lower health insurance premiums in the process.