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Rates of Childhood Obesity have Increased

Despite widespread community- and school-based initiatives to encourage healthy habits at a young age, a recent study indicated that Childhood Obesity is on the rise in the US. From kindergarten through fifth grade, or about ages 6 to 11, two nationally representative groups of kids were studied in the study, which was published on Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics. Studying for the first group took place between 1998 and 2004 and for the second group between 2010 and 2016.

Solveig Argeseanu Cunningham, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta, said, “Once you get on that train towards high weight gain, it’s extremely hard to turn it around.” Solveig Argeseanu Cunningham: The World Health Organization defines obesity as an individual’s excessive fat buildup that puts their health at danger.

Adults are deemed obese if their body mass index (BMI), which is determined using their height and weight, is greater than 30. Instead than using a precise BMI, Childhood Obesity is evaluated in relation to other kids of the same age and sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have a BMI that is in the 95th percentile for their age and sex are considered obese.

According to the Mayo Clinic, obesity is a significant underlying risk factor for a wide range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several malignancies, and severe instances of COVID-19. Dr. Jennifer Woo Baidal, director of the Pediatric Obesity Initiative at Columbia University in New York City, stated that “without intervention, we will continue to see increasing prevalence and severity of obesity for children at a younger age, which has really negative consequences down the line, not just for these children but also for their future offspring.” She wasn’t a part of the investigation.

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