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Early obesity linked to increased probability of severe obesity later in life
Date:5/5/2014

Ann Arbor, MI, May 6, 2014 Exposure to long-term obesity has become more common with increases in obesity at younger ages. Researchers examined the relationship between BMI at age 25, obesity later in life, and biological indicators of health. They found that people who were obese by age 25 had a higher chance of more severe obesity later in life, but that current weight, rather than the duration of obesity, was a better indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Their findings are published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Investigators looked at data from the 1999-2010 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that men who were obese at age 25 had a 23.1% estimated probability of class III obesity (defined as a BMI greater than 40) after age 35, while men of a normal weight at age 25 only had a 1.1% chance of severe obesity after age 35. For women, the statistics were even more dramatic with the likelihood of class III obesity jumping to 46.9% if obese at age 25, compared to just 4.8% for those at a normal weight.

While this seems to be a bleak projection for those battling obesity, the study also revealed some more hopeful findings. Examining the effects of long-term obesity, the study showed that present weight, as opposed to the duration of obesity, was a much better indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk. This means that losing weight at any stage may help reduce risks, regardless of how long a person has been overweight.

"The current findings suggest that the biological risks of longer-term obesity are primarily due to the risk of more severe obesity later in life among those obese early in life, rather than the impact of long-term obesity per se," explains study lead author Jennifer B. Dowd, PhD, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health, Hunter College. "This is good new
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Contact: Angela J. Beck
ajpmmedia@elsevier.com
734-764-8775
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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