Recent research suggests children and young teens that are in the higher range of normal weight, not necessarily overweight, are much more likely than lean kids to become obese adults.
The study of children suggests that "normal" weights may in fact be tilting a youngster toward obesity. While it is known that overweight and obese children have a much higher risk of being overweight or obese as adults, these findings suggest that even children in the high normal weight range are at increased risk.
Researchers looked at 314 children who were 8 to 15 years old when their weight, height, and blood pressure were first recorded. They were examined again 8 to12 years later. More than 48% of the boys and 23% of the girls became overweight or obese between their first childhood visit and the young adult follow-up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Canadian Pediatric Society use body mass index-for-age to assess the weight of children and teenagers. It classifies children with a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentiles for age and gender as at-risk for being overweight, and those with a BMI greater than the 95th percentile are overweight.
Children between the 50th and 74th percentile for weight were five times more likely to become overweight, the researchers found. Girls with a BMI between the 75th and 84th percentile were up to 20 times more likely to become overweight young adults. While boys between the 75th and 85th percentile of BMI as children were four times more likely to have high blood pressure as young adults.
These findings suggest that even children who are in the high normal weight range may have adverse outcomes later in life.
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