Studies Highlight Urgency in Stemming Childhood Obesity

Studies Highlight Urgency in Stemming Childhood Obesity

Monday, July 11, 2016
A recent piece in the New York Times by “Personal Health” columnist Jane Brody illuminates the importance of combating youthful obesity, as several studies have shown links to life-threatening health issues as adults. 
 
Global research reveals that a high body-mass index at a young age has a significant correlation to the occurrence of ailments such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes as adults.
 
The studies cited in the column don’t go so far as to say childhood obesity causes these health conditions, but being overweight as a child does make it much more likely to be overweight as an adult. They also note that consequences of childhood obesity are not only physical, but often result in higher rates of depression, which can perpetuate unhealthy lifestyle decisions.
 
With nearly one-third of children in America classified as overweight or obese, researchers of various studies cited by Brody assert that it is critical for parents to help children develop healthier eating and exercise habits. 
 
You can learn about health and wellness indicators in our four-county Gulf Coast region, including trends in behavioral health, in the Health section of Gulf Coast Community Indicators.