Childhood Obesity did not Increase Blood pressure in Children, Study

Childhood obesity has drastically increased in the past decades, but blood pressure levels have remained normal, says a new study.

The study involved nearly 11,500 children and teenagers aged 5-17. The researchers from Centers of Disease Control and prevention found that between 1974 and 1993, obesity levels tripled in children but blood pressure remained more or less constant.

Experts say that obesity puts children at increased risk of many heart diseases, diabetes and even asthma.

"Maybe the biggest problem is that obese children usually become obese adults," said David S. Freedman, CDC's division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity, reports Reuters.

Researchers say that obesity itself might not be a guarantee that all children will have increased risk to all diseases associated with obesity.

In 1973, 6 percent of boys had high blood pressure, whereas in 1993, 4 percent of boys were reported to have high blood pressure. This difference was seen despite the fact that this period saw a tremendous jump in obesity rates.

The trend remained the same for girls as well with 6 percent of girls in 1993 having high blood pressure compared to 8 percent of girls in 1973.

"I think the take-home from this study is that we should not necessarily assume that increases in childhood obesity will be associated with changes in every risk factor," Freedman said.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says that 12.5 million children and teens are affected by obesity which is nearly 17 percent of all children in U.S. According to the agency, children now are getting heavier than ever. In the past few years childhood obesity has almost has tripled.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.