Obesity Sets in by Kindergarten
'Horse is out of the barn' by 5, new study suggests
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2014 2:10 AM CST
It's a mistake to think kids are likely to grow out of obesity, researchers say.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Kids who are obese by the time they start kindergarten are likely to stay that way through childhood and into adulthood, according to a new study that suggests efforts to combat childhood obesity need to start a lot sooner. Kids who are obese at 5 are four times more likely to be obese by 8th grade than their peers, researchers found, and their chances of becoming obese—or ceasing to be obese—dropped as the years went by, USA Today reports. "A lot of the risk of obesity may start early in life," says the lead researcher, who suggests preschoolers be given a healthy diet and plenty of opportunities to be active.

"What is striking is the relative decrease in incidence after that initial blast" of obesity that happens before age 5, the vice president of the Emory Global Health Institute tells the New York Times. "It is almost as if, if you can make it to kindergarten without the weight, your chances are immensely better." A professor of nutrition notes that efforts to combat childhood obesity have focused on school-age children, and the study suggests "one reason it didn’t work so well is that by the time kids are 5, the horse is out of the barn."

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
arpaiofordohschief
Jan 30, 2014 7:08 PM CST
Maybe it would help if the meat producers would stop pumping their livestock full of growth hormones and antibiotics and feeding them gmo corn/grain, etc. to make them fat so they get a better price. Then you eat it. What do you expect? Do you think that disappears from the meat after it's cooked? HAHAHAHA!
wartengu
Jan 30, 2014 12:52 PM CST
Fat teachers promote fat students, Fat Parents promote fat kids, it's not rocket science. Don't need a PHD to know the obvious. Kids learn by their role models and from their environment. Now with the whole "fat is beautiful" BS fattys are walking around like there's nothing wrong. There is something wrong, your fat and you ain't beautiful.
pg13
Jan 30, 2014 5:16 AM CST
True. But I know a lot of ex-cheerleaders who quit exercising in college and now are taking blood pressure medicine and blaming heredity instead of using myfitnesspal.com