Posted Monday, May 21, 2012 --- 6:40 a.m.
ATLANTA (AP) -- New federal research is revealing alarming new statistics about heart risks in the nation's overweight teens.
The study in the journal, Pediatrics, says half the nation's overweight teens have unhealthy blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels that put them at risk for future cardiac problems.
One expert says it could mean the battle for good health is being lost early on with many kids.
Overall, the study found that 50 percent of overweight young people and 60 percent of obese adolescents had at least one risk factor for future heart disease. Even in normal-weight kids, 37 percent had at least one risk factor.
The CDC study found no increase in levels of obesity, high blood pressure or bad cholesterol between 1999 and 2008.
But the percentage of adolescents who were diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes rose dramatically, from 9 percent to 21 percent.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.