IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

According to the American Heart Association's Journal, salty snacks and extra pounds are sending blood pressure soaring in kids across the nation.

The study shows children and teens ages 8-17 who have high blood pressure climbed nearly 30 percent over 13 years.

Local health experts say children should listen up to their advice. One family nurse practitioner said there are long-term effects of high blood pressure.

"Heart problems, they can have kidney problems and it could cause them to have strokes," said Lesli Christofferson.

She said that damage isn't just long term.

"It does damage to your vessels, all that excess pressure on your blood vessels is not good for you," she said.

Christofferson also said we're seeing the problem locally.

"We're seeing an amazing amount of school-aged children with weight problems because they're becoming obese or are obese and don't do a lot of exercise," she said.
Christofferson also mentioned high blood pressure is mostly due to obesity.

It's also due to not working out and not eating the right foods.

The Apple Athletic Club in Idaho Dalls has a tennis center where trainer Holger Nickel teaches junior tennis classes daily. He said he's seen his share of overweight kids, but they end up losing the baby fat.

"Five and 6-year-old children come in here and we help them with athletic skill development. You know, how to move, how to jump, how to do things that just aren't done anymore," Nickel said.

He also has tips on how to stay healthy: Eat good calories, stay hydrated and get active.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than a third of kids and teens in the U.S. are obese.