ALMOST two out of three severely obese children under the age of 12 have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar, researchers have said.
Dutch researchers found that 62pc of very obese children aged 12 or younger have one or more of the risk factors.
The study, published online, examined 255 severely obese children aged between two and 18. Overall, 67pc of the children had at least one heart risk factor.
Almost one in five severely obese children had at least two risk factors. The most common risk factor was high blood pressure, which was present in 56pc of the children.
More than half had low levels of "good" cholesterol, while 14pc of the overweight children had high blood sugar. Just under 1pc already had type 2 diabetes.
The authors, from VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, found that younger boys were more often severely obese compared to older boys, while they found the reverse for girls.