By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I know I sound like a broken record sometimes but it is clear that increased weight, particularly in children, can lead to problems. Now there is a report from the British Medical Journal which finds a high childhood body mass index is associated with risk factors like heart disease and stroke in the adult years.

About 5000 children were followed from the ages of 9 to 16 to see if they developed risk factors for heart disease down the road like abnormal cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and high blood sugar. The association with increased weight was clear.

But there is a positive note and this is very important. Children who started off overweight but became more normal weight by the age of 15 or 16 improved and reduce their risk of heart disease.

This is a lesson for all of us: It’s never too late to start making lifestyle changes but it is clear in young adults the earlier the better.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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