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Puppy-fat Myth Undermines Children's Future Health

June 07, 2017

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, it is a myth to believe that puppy-fat naturally disappears as young children get older. The study claims the myth may be undermining the future health of children.

If a child is overweight during adolescence, his/her likelihood of continuing being overweight throughout adulthood is much greater. Being overweight/obese during adulthood raises the risk of developing several illnesses, such as diabetes type 2, heart disease, cancer and problems with joints.

However, a recent study of 5863 children found that overweight/obese 11 year-old-children tend to remain so during adolescence - meaning, this will most likely continue when they are adults.

The researchers monitored children aged 11-12 and 16-17 in 36 South London schools, from a broad ethnic and social spectrum. Their weight, height, BMI and waist circumferences were measured. A higher percentage of girls have problems of excess weight, than boys. 38% of black girls were overweight, as were 28% of white girls and 20% of Asian girls. Incidence of obesity/overweight among boys was similar across all ethnic groups.

35% of the most deprived girls were overweight/obese, compared to 28% of all other girls.

The authors concluded that children who enter secondary school, aged 11, and are overweight, most likely will finish school, aged 16-17 still obese/overweight.

Click here to see the full paper in the British Medical Journal