Overweight children’s health risks can be spotted by the age of six

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Tests on 992 youngsters found they had higher levels of fasting glucose, insulin and body fat component triglyceride. They also had enzyme levels that could indicate liver damage. The differences were minor in pre-school children, but clear in those aged six to eight, the Danish researchers said.

Study author Dr Christine Frithioff-Bojsoe, of the European Centre for Obesity Management, said tests on children as young as two-and-ahalf could provide a “critical window” to detect problems.

She added: “This would, in turn, allow weight loss interventions to start early.”

The team’s findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity.

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