Childhood Obesity: Strongest Predictor of Premature Death

Childhood obesity is linked to untimely death, according to a new study.

As further evidence of the impact that obesity can have on longevity, a new study indicates that childhood obesity could dramatically increase the chance of premature death.  The study, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that childhood obesity, together with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, doubles the chance of premature death before age 55.

 The findings suggest that obesity in kids may lead to significant health issues in the future, lending support to recent initiatives here in the U.S. to halt the increase in childhood obesity rates.

 In an effort to evaluate the risks and complexities of childhood obesity and premature death, the researchers studied 4,857 children from the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. The kids were born between 1945 and 1984, and were followed for an average of 24 years. During that time, 559 participants died before reaching age 55 from a variety of causes, including  alcoholic liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.

 The researchers noted that among the four risk factors monitored in the study, childhood obesity turned out to be the strongest predictor of premature death from disease. Premature death in the adults was more than two times higher among the children who were obese as compared to the leaner kids.

Lead researcher, Dr. Paul Franks insists, “The results of this study suggest that obesity prevention should begin in early childhood. This will involve ensuring our children eat healthy , well-balanced diets and maintain physically active lifestyles.”

As further evidence of the impact that obesity can have on longevity, a new study indicates that childhood obesity could dramatically increase the chance of premature death.

  The study, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that childhood obesity, together with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, doubles the chance of premature death before age 55. The findings suggest that obesity in kids may lead to significant health issues in the future, lending support to recent initiatives here in the U.S. to halt the increase in childhood obesity rates.

 In an effort to evaluate the risks and complexities of childhood obesity and premature death, the researchers studied 4,857 children from the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona.The kids were born between 1945 and 1984, and were followed for an average of 24 years. During that time, 559 participants died before reaching age 55 from a variety of causes, including  alcoholic liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.

  The researchers noted that among the four risk factors monitored in the study, childhood obesity turned out to be the strongest predictor of premature death from disease. Premature death in the adults was more than two times higher among the children who were obese as compared to the leaner kids.

Lead researcher, Dr. Paul Franks insists, “The results of this study suggest that obesity prevention should begin in early childhood. This will involve ensuring our children eat healthy , well-balanced diets and maintain physically active lifestyles.”

 

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