Children as young as six are showing early warning signs of heart disease, scientists from Sydney have warned.

They claim children who spent hours glued to the television or playing video games suffered narrowing of blood vessels in their eyes - an early warning sign of the increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

However, children who exercised for one hour a day were found to be significantly healthier, the study of 1,492 primary school children discovered.

Children who took part in regular exercise were found to have retinal blood vessels that were 2.2 microns wider than those who didn't.

Dr Bomini Gopinath, who led the team of researchers from the University of Sydney, said that replacing one hour a day of screen time with physical activity could be enough to stop the effects.

Posted by Robert Mair on 26.4.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com 

 Kids watching TV