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Obese Teen Boys at Risk for Heart Disease

Here's one more reason to make sure your teenaged children eat healthfully: teenaged boys who are even slightly overweight face a greater risk of heart disease later in life, according to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine . Their risk remains, says the study, even if they lose weight as adults.

According to researchers, men who were obese as teenagers were nearly seven times more likely than their slimmer peers to get heart disease in their mid-30s regardless of their adult weight. Heavier teens whose body mass index was in the normal range were at increased risk as well. ( BMI is a ratio of height to weight that provides an estimate of body fat.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines kids and teens with a BMI between the fifth and 85th percentiles for their age as normal, but the study found that boys with BMIs as low as the 50th percentile -- a BMI of roughly 20 -- were at increased risk for heart disease.

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