By Lesley Young
It’s hard to believe that your energetic, happy-go-lucky child could have high blood pressure, prediabetes or high cholesterol. These conditions only strike adults, right? In fact, in some cases, kids as young as age five are at risk. Left untreated, they are likely to move on to the next stage, such as diabetes and heart disease, later in life.
“Rising obesity rates in children certainly are behind the increasing appearance of these conditions in young children,” says Dr. Katherine Morrison, a pediatric endocrinologist and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. However, she adds, kids at a healthy weight are sometimes suscept-ible too. Experts contend that catching these conditions early on, and preventing yet others, is key to ensuring healthy futures.
Here’s what you need to know: