'Puppy fat' is a myth which puts children's health at risk

May 04, 2006

The idea that 'puppy fat' in children disappears as they progress to adolescence is a myth which may put the future health of children at risk, says a paper published on bmj.com today.

And girls from some ethnic minorities and lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to be overweight or obese, putting them at even more danger of long-term health problems, say the authors.

Previous studies have shown that adolescence is a key time, since excess weight during teenage years pre-disposes adults to continued weight problems - with all the associated health risks.

But today's study, tracking 5863 children as they developed into young adults, shows that the problems are established before teenage years - since those with excess weight by the age of 11 continued with it during adolescence.

Researchers looked at annual measurements of weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumferences of children aged between 11/12 and 16/17 throughout 36 schools across South London, giving them a broad ethnic and social mix.

They found that overall, girls had higher rates of excess weight problems than boys. Black girls had particularly high levels, with an average of 38% being overweight or obese over the study period, compared to 28% for white girls or 20% for Asian girls.

For boys, however, ethnicity made little difference to excess weight levels.

The findings were less clear cut for economic status. 35% of the most deprived girls were overweight or obese compared with 28% of other girls, but other economic categories showed less consistency.

"Children who are obese when they enter secondary school will very likely leave it obese," say the authors. More monitoring is crucial if rising tides of obesity are to be tackled effectively, they conclude.
-end-


BMJ

Related Overweight Articles from Brightsurf:

Overweight and obesity are associated with a low sperm quality
Researchers from the Rovira i Virgili University in collaboration with researchers from the University of Utah have carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the association between adiposity (normal weight, overweight, obesity, and low weight) and the sperm quality.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Overweight from cosmetics
Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics. If pregnant women use cosmetics containing parabens that remain on the skin for protracted periods, this may have consequences for their child's subsequent weight development.

Overweight before age 40 increases the cancer risk
The risk of cancer increases considerably if you gain weight before the age of 40.

Overweight Danes are more likely to have overweight dogs according to new research
A new study from the University of Copenhagen reports that the prevalence of overweight dogs is markedly larger among overweight owners than among normal weight owners.

Overweight kids actually eat less right after stressful events
People often react to stress by binging on sweets or fattening comfort foods, cravings fueled by the appetite-stimulating stress hormone cortisol.

Abundant screen time linked with overweight among children
A recently completed study indicates that Finnish children who spend a lot of time in front of screens have a heightened risk for overweight and abdominal obesity, regardless of the extent of their physical activity.

Overweight, obesity in children across Europe
This study (called a systematic review and meta-analysis) combined the results of 103 studies with nearly 478,000 children (ages 2 to 13) to look at how common overweight and obesity are among children across Europe.

Overweight men are inhibiting childbirth
About 15% of couples in fertile age have experienced fertility problems.

Being overweight as a teen may be associated with cardiomyopathy in adulthood
The risk of developing cardiomyopathy, which often leads to heart failure, increased in adult Swedish men who were even mildly overweight around age 18.

Read More: Overweight News and Overweight Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.