Signs of Obesity Show Up at Age 5
Research news from the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions, June 21–25, 2013
A child's weight in kindergarten is a good predictor of whether he or she will be normal weight, overweight, or obese in eighth grade, a study found. Researchers looked at a large, nationally representative sample of children—seven waves of kindergartners tracked through grade 8—and monitored their body weight. At age 5, 15 percent of the kids were overweight and 12 percent were obese. By eighth grade, 32 percent of those who'd been overweight in kindergarten had become obese, compared with 8 percent of those who were normal weight as 5-year-olds. The researchers say that this shows the need to intervene early to help keep young children from gaining too many pounds.