Will your kids grow up to be fat?
Weight status of children ages 8 to 15 predicts obesity and high blood pressure in adulthood
New research shows that children between 8 and 15 years old who are in the upper half of the normal weight range are more likely than their leaner peers to become obese or overweight as young adults. This research was conducted over nearly a decade at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention and Children’s Hospital Boston and is reported in this month’s Obesity Research journal.
"We have known that kids who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for being overweight or obese as adults. But in this paper, we show that even children in the high normal weight range have an elevated risk of becoming overweight or obese as adults," said lead author Alison Field, assistant professor of pediatrics at HMS and Children’s Hospital Boston.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national reference data, children with a BMI between the national 85th and 95th percentiles for age and gender are classified as at risk for being overweight, and those with a BMI greater than the 95th percentile are classified as overweight. The authors considered a body mass index (BMI) between the 50th and 84th percentile to be in the high normal weight range.
The study comprised 314 children, mostly Caucasian, from East Boston, MA, who were 8 to 15 years old when their weight, height, and blood pressure were first recorded. They were again evaluated 8 to 12 years later. Results showed that nearly half of the male subjects (48.3 percent) and nearly a quarter of the female subjects (23.5 percent) became overweight or obese between their first childhood visit and the young adult follow-up. Compared with children with a BMI less than the 50th percentile, girls and boys between the 50th and 74th percentile were five times more likely to become overweight. Boys and girls with a BMI between the 75th and 84th percentile were up to 20 times more likely to become overweight as young adults.
The results also showed that among the boys, elevated BMI in childhood predicted risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) in young adulthood. Compared with boys who had a childhood BMI below the 75th percentile, boys between the 75th and 85th percentile of BMI as children were four times more likely to become hypertensive. Boys at or above the 85th percentile were five times more likely to become hypertensive.
"There has been widespread recognition in the past few years of how important it is to prevent obesity in children. These findings underscore that even children who are in the high normal weight range may have adverse outcomes later in life, and our challenge may be even greater than we thought," said Matthew Gillman, senior author on the paper and associate professor of ambulatory care and prevention at HMS. "We must focus not only on the most obese kids but also on those who are just a bit overweight."
Aaron Patnode | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
X-ray study throws light on key process for production
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...