Being a fat kid isn’t fun – both physically and socially challenging – but now this study from NEJM explores whether if being overweight as a child (but not obese as an adult) leads to adverse outcomes.
Turns out that overweight children who stay overweight as adults have higher risks of cardiovascular events and diabetes, as expected. What is interesting is that children who lose weight and are non-obese as adults carry the same risk as those who were never overweight as adults.
Other studies in the past have shown however that childhood obesity is associated with higher levels of coronary atherosclerosis, but this may not pan out to adverse outcomes. Don’t forget that this study was just an observational one over several years, with no actual intervention or randomisation.
Considering the epidemic of obesity that is sweeping us, it shows that curtailing it at a young age does make a difference – basically, what we’ve got here is a predictable, reversible outbreak of disease. So what do we do to fix it?
Brief but interesting headliner from NEJM, here.