Most people have been brought up to think that chubby children are cute. While this may be somewhat true, the excess weight may turn out to be unhealthy later on in life, as according to Science Daily, overweight kids are twice at risk of developing hypertension, while obese kids are four times at risk.

Researchers studied 1,117 healthy teens for 27 years and found 68 percent out of the participants had normal weight as kids, of which six percent had high blood pressure as adults.

On the other hand, 14 percent of those who were overweight and 26 percent of those who were obese as kids had high blood pressure as adults.

Children who are heavier than most tend to be sedentary, which may result in additional pounds. This is why it's important for parents to encourage their kids to eat right and to become physically active. Study author Sara E. Watson believes that without parental and professional intervention, juvenile obesity may result in serious heart problems later on in life.

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"It is important that pediatricians counsel patients on the risk of high blood pressure associated with overweight and obesity, and stress that a healthy diet, including reducing salt intake and exercise, may help reduce this risk. Interventions to prevent and treat obesity will play an important role in decreasing the significant burden of high blood pressure in adulthood," she explains.

(Photo by Victoria Lostaunau via sxc.hu)

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