Health Consequences of Obesity


  • Gerald S. Berenson MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Department of Epidemiology, Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health, New Orleans, Louisiana.
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  • for the Bogalusa Heart Study group

  • The authors express appreciation to the children and families that have made the Bogalusa Heart Study possible.


Epidemiologic studies have established that cardiovascular (CV) risk factors including obesity are identifiable in childhood. Childhood risk factors are predictive of adult cardiac risk and even premature death [Franks et al. (2010) N Engl J Med 362:485–493]. In the United States, CV diseases remains the leading causes of death. In fact, heart disease has become the major cause of death worldwide, surpassing undernutrition and infectious diseases, largely related to obesity in childhood [Wang and Lobstein (2006) Int J Pediatr Obes 1:11–25]. The concept that adult heart diseases begin in childhood is an outgrowth of extensive long-term epidemiologic studies in youth, that is, the Bogalusa Heart Study [Berenson et al. (1986) Causation of cardiovascular risk factors in children: Perspectives on cardiovascular risk in early life, Raven Press Books Ltd]. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012; 58: 117–121. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.