Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When do German children gain weight?

15.08.2012
Increase in the prevalence of overweight among German children calculated precisely for the first time

Scientists working with Perikles Simon, head of the Sports Medicine division of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany, suggest in the light of recent analyses that German children gain weight soon after entering elementary school.

From birth up to the age of five years, today's children's weight development is nearly identical to those from twenty years ago. Then as now there are about 10 percent of the children in this age range who are classified as being overweight. There is even a slight tendency that in the first five years of their life, today’s children weigh less as it was 20 years ago.

"However, what we have found is that over the next three years in school there is a significant increase in the prevalence of overweight compared to a representative international and German reference population," explains Sascha Hoffmann from the JGU Institute of Sports Science. Supported by the research group of Cognition and Perception of the University of Tübingen, the JGU scientists asked a relatively simple question: When exactly do German children gain weight? The results were recently published in the leading journal Obesity (Silver Spring).

Sascha Hoffmann, as part of his doctorate, performed an in-depth analysis of the public use file of the KiGGS Study – The German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents, conducted between May 2003 and May 2006. For data analysis, Rolf Ulrich, Professor for Cognitive Psychology at the University of Tübingen, used a procedure which – in contrast to standard data analyses – allows a more objective comparison of age groups; so it is now possible to determine exactly when considerable changes in data sets occur. The results indicate that, in Germany, at the age of 7.2 years there may be the highest increase in the prevalence of childhood overweight.

At 8 years of age, more than 20 percent of German children are considered to be overweight. About 20 years ago, this was the case for only 10 percent of children. During the supposed critical phase of puberty, this rate in overweight remains relatively constant through to adulthood.

These findings provide important starting points to target the progressive overweight in Germany. An aspect that the researchers will consider in more detail in the coming years will be if "school entry" has an effect on the weight status of children. The researchers want to find out how the increase in bodyweight in this particular range of life can be explained. Principal investigator Professor Dr. Dr. Perikles Simon warns about assuming that the reasons for this increase in weight can be principally linked to school routine:

"Our children were attending school also 20 years ago, and the children today encounter a similar school environment. The only difference is that there was previously no such rapid increase in numbers of overweight children. We postulate that this is due to a fairly complex interaction of several factors which are probably mainly to be found in the children's home environment."

The researchers also noted that the underlying foundations for this relatively rapid increase in the percentage of overweight children during their first year of school are most probably laid already when the children are at kindergarten age. In order to test this hypothesis more closely, baseline data have already been collected in 35 kindergartens in Mainz. Here, the researchers were aided by the inner-university research promotion program, the Child-Friendly Rhineland-Palatinate program established by the Ministry of Integration, Family, Children, Youth, and Women, and the city of Mainz. The currently ongoing collection of longitudinal data in elementary schools in Mainz has also attracted widespread regional support. "Despite all the positive encouragement that we have received up to now, we will soon need financial support from additional partners to be able to develop appropriate intervention programs", concludes Simon.

PUBLICATION
S. Hoffmann, R. Ulrich, P. Simon: Refined Analysis of the Critical Age Ranges of Childhood Overweight: Implications for Primary Prevention. Obesity (Silver Spring), 20 June 2012

doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.172

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/15611_ENG_HTML.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22714087

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University

nachricht Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
28.03.2017 | Graphene Flagship

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>