Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Posted by Partnership for Prevention at 3:01 PM
Childhood obesity more than doubles the risk of dying before age 55, according to a new long-term study that followed nearly 5,000 children. The study is in the New England Journal of Medicine. Although recent data suggest a leveling off of obesity in the U.S., one in six teens is obese.
"What this particular study shows is, obesity is going to cause excess premature death," says study co-author Dr. William C. Knowler, who is chief of the Diabetes Epidemiology and Clinical Research Section of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Knowler and his colleagues evaluated 4,857 American Indian children who were born between 1945 and 1984, then followed them long-term. Most participants were at least half Pima or Tohono O'odham Indian. They lived in the area of the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona.