Does Obesity Signs Develop In Early Childhood?

You can judge if your child will suffer from obesity later at childhood by examining his/her weight during kindergarten. If so, what can you do about it? There is so much you can contribute like watching out their diets and playing with them.

This is in reference to a recent study at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health which suggested that the development of early childhood obesity can be predicted at the kindergarten. This is from the observation that 5-year olds are four times more likely as normal weight children to become overweight by the time they reach the 8th grade.

In reference to the lead author, Dr. Venkat Narayan, the study was aimed to get a better understanding of how early childhood obesity begins.

Narayan notes that they have witnessed several cases where a majority of women suffer from obesity by the time they reach elementary school and adolescence. While reporting to the, Ruth and OC Hubert chair of Global Health and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Emory University said that it is unclear as to why children develop obesity at the first time, especially at a younger age.

Solveig Cunningham, a co-author and an assistant professor at Rollins School of public health, in conjunction with Narayan made use of the data collected by the U.S. Department of Education to analyze the weight and height measurements of 7,738 kids who were enrolled in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of U.S. study Class of 1998-1999. The study made a follow-up of the children from kindergarten (when approximately 5 years) to the 8th grade when they were aged 14.

By utilizing growth charts which were developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the researchers found out that each kid’s body-mass index (BMI) gradually changed with time. They ranked the children in different categories which were normal weight, overweight (85 percentile of BMI), and obese (95 percentile BMI)

Initially, on entering the kindergarten, 12% of the children fell under the obese category while 14% were considered as being overweight. From the children who initially fell under the normal category, only 8% became obese by the time they were in the 8th grade (14 years). However, 32% of the overweight children at kindergarten became obese by the time they reached the 8th grade.

Narayan says that the biggest risk of getting obese from the ages of 5 to 14 is propelled by the children entrance at kindergarten while overweight. He adds that such children are born while large or become overweight by the time they hit the age of 5, noting that something undercover happens at early childhood which keeps them on the track to obesity later in life.

From the findings, it was also observed that cases of obesity decreased* with age during elementary school years and that the rates of obesity incidences varied with race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Statistics from the CDC indicate that obesity has tripled in adolescents and doubled in children during the last three decades. Surprisingly, more than a third of children and adolescents were considered as obese or being overweight in 2010. From this statistics, Narayan argued that there is need to put more focus on the overall wellbeing of kids during the early stages of their lives.

The focus should not just be on the weight, Narayan said, adding that healthy nutrition and physical activity should also be given consideration. He also gives an opinion that obesity could be a farfetched issue that comes even before a child gets out of the mother’s womb.

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