Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between overweight and high waist circumference and cardiovascular risk factors in children. Material and Methods: We carried out a secondary analysis of data from 1,944 participants of the 'National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4-18 years'. Blood pressure and blood lipid levels were compared in overweight versus non-overweight and high versus low waist circumference groups. Overweight was defined using international cut-offs for body mass index. High waist circumference was defined as >/= 91st percentile of UK waist circumference charts. Analyses were done separately by sex and age group (4-10 and 11-18 years for overweight, and 11-17 years for waist circumference). Results: Overweight and high waist circumference were associated with increased systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) and triacylglycerol, and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC). Those who were both overweight and had a high waist circumference had the highest blood pressure, plasma LDLC and triacylglycerol, and the lowest plasma HDLC. Conclusion: Overweight and high waist circumference were associated with increased blood pressure and a less favourable lipid profile. Children who were both overweight and had a high waist circumference had the most unfavourable cardiovascular risk profile. Both measurements may be useful in identifying children with increased health risks.
- Blood pressure
- Waist circumference