Saturday, January 07, 2012

Many Kindergarteners Already on Road to Obesity, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) -- Today's kindergarteners are heavier than kids brought up in the 1970s and 1980s and appear to be on the road to becoming overweight and obese in the years to come, a new study finds.

"It's not just kids who are already overweight getting more and more so, there is an entire shift. Even those who are normal weight are gaining weight," said lead study author Ashlesha Datar, senior economist at RAND Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif.

Researchers analyzed data on nearly 6,000 white, black and Hispanic children who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study -- a nationally representative sample -- and had their height and weight measured over nine years, in kindergarten, first, third, fifth and eighth grades.

The study found nearly 40 percent of kindergarteners had a body mass index (BMI) in the 75th percentile or above, up from 25 percent in the 1970s and 1980s, when the growth charts were developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more...

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