Fat Aussie teens grow into obese adults

May 7, 2007

An Australian medical study has found that the teenage years of children are critical in determining their future weight.

Researchers spent more than 20 years tracking the weight ranges of children, beginning when the children were 7 to 15 and following them until they were 25 to 35.

The findings, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, show those children who were overweight or obese were up to nine times more likely than others to become overweight or obese adults.

Professor Alison Venn of the Menzies Research Institute, says the researchers also found that many people who had healthy weights as children became overweight or obese during adolescence.

"These are times of change in their lives; they are becoming increasingly independent, perhaps their meal times are less regular and perhaps they are cooking for themselves," she said. "So we need to work out better ways to promote healthy eating and physical activity."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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