Study: Child Obesity Risk Starts Before School Age

CBS Atlanta

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) – A new study finds that much of a child’s “weight fate” is set by age 5, and that nearly half of kids who became obese by the eighth grade were already overweight when they started kindergarten.

The prevalence of weight problems has long been known — about a third of U.S. kids are overweight or obese. But surprisingly little is known about which kids will develop obesity, and at what age.

Researchers think there may be a window of opportunity to prevent it, and “we keep pushing our critical window earlier and earlier on,” said Solveig Cunningham, a scientist at Emory University. “A lot of the risk of obesity seems to be set, to some extent, really early in life.”

She led the new study, which was published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine and paid for by the federal government.

It tracked a…

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