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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Slimmer future for heavy kids who get help early





Weight-loss programs can help even very young children slim down, and it appears that acting early may improve the odds of success, according to a pair of new studies.

"What they are showing is a pretty consistent trend that if we were to intervene early, we could really have an effect on changing the trajectory of weight gain in children," said Dr. Elsie Taveras, a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, who co-wrote an editorial on the findings.

In one study, Dutch scientists found that heavy three- to five-year-olds saw continued benefits from a weight-loss intervention at least several months after it ended.

And a report from Sweden shows overweight and obese children under 10 were much more likely to slow their weight gain than were adolescents getting similar behavioral treatments.
The two studies were released Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Excessive pounds in childhood often stay on into adulthood, where they have been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other health problems.

Taveras said there is mounting evidence that paying attention to young kids may be a promising way to stem the global obesity epidemic. In 2008, more than a third of U.S. youths were either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

30/10/2012  :  By Frederik Joelving  /  Reuters.

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