Study suggests obesity prevention efforts should begin by age 4 for at-risk children
By age six, children of overweight mothers are fifteen times more likely to be obese than children of lean mothers. The research, at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, showed the strength of genetic influences, and suggests that efforts to prevent obesity should focus on such children at risk, preferably by four years of age. The study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers followed 70 children over a six-year period at Childrens Hospital; of that number, 33 had overweight mothers and 37 had lean mothers. During the first two years of age, weight and body composition differed little between the two groups. But the high-risk group (children whose mothers were overweight) had greater overall weight by age four, and both greater weight and more body fat by age six.
Joey Marie McCool | EurekAlert!
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