Many teens tend to carry excess weight into adulthood

November 11, 2010 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Many teens tend to carry excess weight into adulthood
A new study from U.S researchers has shown that many obese teens put on extra weight as they grow up, often becoming obese adults.

To investigate, researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which has followed thousands of kids from middle schools and high schools since the mid-1990s.

It is the first to track how obese teenagers' weight changes as they grow up.

At the outset of the study, one percent of the youngsters were severely obese, defined as having a body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or more.

Over 13 years, eight percent of the now adults landed in the severe obesity category, and the heavier they were to begin with, the higher their chances of doing so, not surprisingly.

Overall researchers found that nearly one in 12 teenagers became severely obese as they entered adulthood.  And of those who were obese to begin with, about half the girls and more than a third of the boys continued to be obese into adulthood, raising their odds of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers.

According to Statistics Canada, the percentage of Canadians who are overweight or obese has risen dramatically in recent years, mirroring a worldwide phenomenon. According to data from Statistics Canada the obesity rate of almost every age group has risen in the past 25 years, including a striking increases among people younger than 35.  In the past twenty five years, the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds who were obese more than doubled, rising from 8.5% in 1978-1979 to 20.5% in 2004.

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