Growing Up with Obesity
A pair of new studies provide objective evidence for the likelihood of children growing up with obesity over time. In PLOS Medicine, William Johnson and colleagues published data showing that British children born more recently are more likely to develop obesity and overweight at earlier ages.
In the Journal of Public Health, Matthew Pearce and colleagues followed children with obesity or overweight upon entering primary school in South Gloucestershire, England. They found that 84% of them still had excess weight or obesity six years later, when they finished primary school.
Our findings show that children who are overweight or obese in reception are unlikely to “grow out” of excess weight — 84% of obese or overweight children at Reception year went on to be either overweight or obese by Year 6.
Johnson et al concluded:
In the absence of effective intervention, overweight and obesity will have severe public health consequences in decades to come.
More than good intentions will be needed to reverse the trends for our children that these data are so clearly describing.
Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.