The frequency of childhood obesity has increased over the last 3 decades, and the trend constitutes a worrisome epidemic worldwide. With the raising obesity risk, key aspects to consider are accurate body mass index classification, as well as metabolic and cardiovascular, and hepatic consequences.
The authors performed a systematic literature search in PubMed and EMBASE, using selected key words (obesity, childhood, cardiovascular, liver health). In particular, they focused their search on papers evaluating the impact of obesity on cardiovascular and liver health.
We evaluated the current literature dealing with the impact of excessive body fat accumulation in childhood and across adulthood, as a predisposing factor to cardiovascular and hepatic alterations. We also evaluated the impact of physical and dietary behaviors starting from childhood on cardio-metabolic consequences.
The epidemic of obesity and obesity-related comorbidities worldwide raises concerns about the impact of early abnormalities during childhood and adolescence. Two key abnormalities in this context include cardiovascular diseases, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Appropriate metabolic screenings and associated comorbidities should start as early as possible in obese children and adolescents. Nevertheless, improving dietary intake and increasing physical activity performance are to date the best therapeutic tools in children to weaken the onset of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes risk during adulthood.