Medicine

More than half of American kids could be obese by age 35

More than half of American kids could be obese by age 35

The risk of obesity is high even among children whose present weight is normal, said the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, led by researcher Zachary Ward of the Center for Health Decision Science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, stated that the current rate of obesity among 35-year-olds is 35 percent to 40 percent, according to Reuters Health.

One of the best ways to prevent obesity as an adult is to reverse it during childhood.

Researchers also found excess weight in kids is predictive of adult obesity, and only children who are at a healthy weight have a less than 50 percent chance of having obesity as adults. The likelihood is even higher for children with severe obesity, a condition that now affects 4.5 million children, the university said in a statement.

Overweight and obesity are linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers in adulthood, he says.

More than half the two-year-old children alive today in the U.S. are on track to be obese in their 30s, a study has found. At the age of five years, this risk falls however to 10%.

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The team analysed height and weight data from five USA studies involving 41,567 children and adults.

"In some ways, this is a surprising finding just because of the sheer magnitude of the problem", Ward said. In some parts of the country, we're already approaching that level of obesity.

The projection was made through computer modelling by using the current national data of the number of children in American and the obesity rate among them. Their work shows that 75% of children two years of age with obesity will always be up to 35 years.

In this particular group, children two years of age have more than an 80% chance of being obese at 35 years of age.

The research does not examine solutions.

The good news is, these are both habits that can be taught at a young age: Ward thinks that dietary interventions, like taxes on sugary drinks and setting nutritional standards at school, can help kids maintain a healthy weight.