New research bolsters the idea that being obese is bad for your health, even when you're young. The study, published in Stroke, the journal of the American Stroke Association, reports that a higher body mass index in adolescence is associated with a higher risk of having your first ischemic stroke before the age of 50. An ischemic stroke happens when a blockage cuts off blood supply to the brain.

The researchers say that both adolescent obesity and early stroke are on the rise, yet the precise link between the two hasn't been identified. They say preventing obesity in adolescence is important to preventing health issues later in life.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. They use the acronym F.A.S.T. to help you figure out if someone is having a stroke.

  • F: Is their face numb or drooping?
  • A: Is one arm or are both arms weak or numb?
  • S: Is speech slurred or hard to understand?
  • T: If any of these symptoms are present, it is time to call 911 and seek emergency medical care.

The faster you receive treatment, the better your chances are of having a positive outcome. The American Stroke Association is a subdivision of the American Heart Association.

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