A recent study found that teens that are either overweight or have poor fitness levels can face a greater risk of developing high blood pressure in middle age. Both out of shape and overweight teens showed the most significant risk, although even thin teens with low fitness levels had a heightened risk of future blood pressure problems.
These findings were based on a study examining 1.5 million Swedish men from 1969 to 1997. During that time, 6% of the men were diagnosed with high blood pressure, and men who were overweight or obese at age 18 had more than twice the risk when compared to their normal weight peers. Participants who had a low fitness level had a 50% greater risk than participants with a fitness level in the top one-third.
This study highlights the importance of maintaining good fitness in addition to staying at a healthy weight. Researchers suggest that parents need to lead by example to integrate physical activity into their family’s daily routine.
These findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine on January 19, 2016.