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We know that being overweight is not healthy, but a report in the Journal Circulation confirms fears that being overweight as a teenager can have long-term effects. Even when I was in medical school, there was knowledge that arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis, or the clogging of blood vessels can begin early in life. The latest report looks at overweight teens and school children. Being overweight can affect the elasticity of blood vessels. It makes them less stretchy, and this is very important. If one’s blood vessels are elastic, it’s easier for them to pump more blood. Now, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through stiff blood vessels. That leaves a person more likely to develop high blood pressure. Now, another reason to encourage diet and exercise is the fact that these changes begin and they are very difficult to reverse. You need to watch this when you’re young.

By: Brian McDonough, M.D., FAAFP