Childhood Obesity Can Be Prevented Before Age 10
Weight loss programs can help obese children lose weight if it is started early. Obese children aged under 10 years old have lower weight gain than obese adolescents who received similar interventions such as changes in diet and exercise.
Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said, “The results are alarming for very obese adolescents, who has a risk of serious clinical disease,” said professor of pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute.
Marcus added, based on the study, a new treatment method for children needs to be found. Therefore, children who weigh more, are more likely to remain obese as adults. Obesity in adulthood is associated with heart disease, diabetes and other health problems.
The report, published alongside Dutch scientists in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine journal found weight loss in children aged 3-5 years are more useful after a few months of dieting. Obesity has become a global epidemic. In 2008, more than a third of U.S. children are overweight or obese.
The study researchers studied 75 obese children who were randomized to undergo intensive weight loss program or usual care. The program lasted for four months and involved 25 sessions, including diet, exercise, and counseling to parenting behavior.
A year after the study, children in the intervention group decreased body mass index, while the control group did not change. “The magnitude of the effect in young children after the intervention was not great but that should be taken into account that children are also growing,” said Dr. Taveras, according to Reuters.
He added that early intervention in obesity affects changing lifestyle of children in the future.