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Excess body fat (adiposity) proved to be worse than high cholesterol or elevated blood pressure.

In a recent study performed at the Endocrinology Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, children were evaluated for Carotid Intima-Media Thickening (CIMT). The CIMT test is considered one of the very best tests for evaluating risk of heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. The CIMT test directly checks the carotid blood vessel to see the amount of hardening of the carotid artery in the neck.

In the recent study, children were checked for full cholesterol/lipid panels, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Weight loss researchers reported: “There were no relations between age, diastolic blood pressure, or fasting levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein values and CIMT measures, regardless of sex or ethnic background.”

What did matter was the BMI (body mass index) and the waist circumference. Increased BMI and adiposity independently predicted the CIMT score.

In simple words, body fat in children caused hardened arteries while cholesterol and blood pressure did not.

Adiposity predicts carotid intima-media thickness in healthy children and adolescents.