Researchers find even small weight reduction can help lower blood pressure

Dec 21, 2010

A high BMI has been shown to increase one's likelihood of developing serious health conditions

Doctors have been using body mass index, or BMI, readings as a way to gauge a patient's weight in relation to their height for years now. Research has indicated that those with higher BMIs are more likely to develop higher blood pressure. Such an ailment can also result in higher life insurance premiums because of the risks associated with the disease.

Research shows that reducing one's BMI can have a positive effect on a person's overall health. The American Heart Association has released data from a study that followed the blood pressure and BMI measurements of more than 1,100 children. Their findings showed a strong relationship between having high blood pressure and BMI.

"Because our estimate of the BMI effect was much greater in overweight kids, the results suggest that even a modest reduction in BMI may produce a much greater benefit in blood pressure in overweight kids," says study co-author Wanzhu Tu. "Conversely, a small increase in BMI could put them at much greater risk of blood pressure elevation."

It's important for children to pick up positive health habits early on as they are likely to keep them into adulthood. Parents can encourage their children to exercise on a regular basis and limit television time to help keep their weight in check.

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