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Overweight Kids Pushing Up Blood Pressure

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Overweight children and teens are pushing up their blood pressure. And the trend spells trouble: Major medical problems as these children get older.

High blood pressure can shorten your life. And with this new study, experts worry that children's lives will be shorter than the lives of their parents.

America's kids are living large - too large for their own good. They're packing on the pounds, and as a new study reveals, they're also pushing up their blood pressure.

Paul Muntner, Ph.D./ Researcher: "Blood pressure levels have increased significantly among children and adolescents over the past 15 years in the United States."

Researchers looked at two groups of children. They discovered how children in 1988 had significiantly lower blood pressure than children seen a decade later.

Experts worry what will happen to these kids as they age. High blood pressure damages internal organs and increases the risk of stroke, aneurysms, heart failure, heart attack, and kidney failure.

Kelley Brownell, Ph.D./ Yale University: "This is the first time in history where our health experts are asking whether our children will lead shorter lives than their parents do."

Dr. Kelly Brownell is an obesity expert at Yale University. He says profound changes must occur in what kids eat, and how they exercise.

"We can't sit around any more and argue for the status quo. We can't allow the food industry to continue to do its practices like they are. We can't continue to have physical education subtracted out of the curriculum of the schools. We have to make big changes."

The study is published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

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