Waist size may communicate more about a child's cardiovascular health than measuring height, weight and body mass index, according to new research.
With the number of children who are overweight and obese on the rise, it's not too early to begin identifying children at higher risk for heart disease and looking for ways to intervene and prevent disease, according to pediatricians. Researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute examined data from 4,667 children ages 6 to 17. They found that the child's waist circumference correlated with higher pulse pressure (the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, and an indication of an increased risk of heart-related diseases). The child's body mass did not correlate with pulse pressure, however.