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Study: Kids’ obesity risk starts before school age

January 29, 2014 • National News


In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 file photo, Oumou Balde, 4, left, plays with her teacher Jacqualine Sanchez, right, and some pretend food in a pre-kindergarten class at the Sheltering Arms Learning Center in New York in a program that was produced in conjunction with the Sesame Street children’s television show to educate children about nutrition and health. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 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. 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. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Those efforts to fight obesity in schools? Think younger. 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 Login to read more

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