The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, indicated that nearly 40 percent of today’s high school students and young adults experienced obesity or could be classified as overweight before leaving primary school.
Researcher KM Venkata Narayan from Emory University in the US said, “These worrying data suggest that the childhood obesity epidemic in the US is growing and becoming severe. Our knowledge of effective interventions to fight it is also limited. Seems like.”
“We urgently need an aggressive national strategy for interdisciplinary research and public health to prevent childhood obesity and its consequences in the US and around the world,” Narayan said.
For the study, the team analyzed what age children were most likely to develop obesity and which children were most at risk.
They compared data on children entering kindergarten in 1998 and 2010 and followed them up to fifth grade.
The data are nationally representative, so the findings can be generalized to children growing up in the US.
They also found that children born in the 2000s experienced higher levels and younger rates of obesity than children born 12 years earlier, despite public health campaigns and interventions aimed at preventing obesity.
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