Do obese children become obese adults?
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Yes, obese children do become obese adults. The studies in this list for which we have identified answers are unanimous on this conclusion. However, this question is understudied. More research may lead to a different conclusion.
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Two decades of annual medical examinations in Japanese obese children: Do obese children grow into obese adults?
Authors: K Ishikawa, S Tarui, Y Matsuzawa et al
Published: 1997 in International Journal of Obesity
Answer to the list question: Yes
"OBJECTIVE: To investigate trends in frequency of obese children in Japan over two decades, the frequency of obese children who grow into obese adults and predictive factors for adult obesity.\n\nDESIGN: Annual cross-sectional studies for 22 y (1974-1995) with a follow-up study.\n\nSUBJECTS: Cross-sectional: Cumulatively 13,186 obese (% of standard body weight (SBW): > or = 120%) schoolchildren including 3158 extremely obese (> or = 140% of SBW) children out of 203,088 schoolchildren (age: 6-14 y) in Izumiohtsu City, Osaka, Japan. Follow-up: 151 initially obese children (initial age: 6-14 y and age at follow-up: 20-35 y) who lived in Izumiohtsu City. Control: 3552 Japanese men and 4631 Japanese women (age: 20-35 y).\n\nMEASUREMENTS: Cross-sectional: height, weight, trunk circumference, skin-fold thickness, blood pressure and blood biochemicals. Follow-up: height, weight, trunk circumference, skin-fold thickness during childhood, and body height and weight at follow-up. Adulthood obesity: > or = 120% of the average body mass indices (BMI) of the controls.\n\nRESULTS: Frequency of obese children increased from 5% to more than 10%, and that of extremely obese children increased from 1% to more than 2% during these 22 y. These increases were most prominent in the schoolboys aged 9-11 y. Prevalence of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in the extremely obese children did not change, and that of hypertension and abnormal liver function gradually decreased during these two decades. After coming of age, 32.2% of the initially obese boys (relative risk: 5.3) and 41.0% of the initially obese girls (relative risk: 6.7) remained obese. BMI, percentage of the SBW and skin-fold thickness at the biceps during childhood were significantly larger in currently-obese girls. Positive correlations were demonstrated between these variables and percentage SBW at follow-up.\n\nCONCLUSIONS: Childhood obesity is increasing in Japan, especially in boys aged 9-11 y. Approximately 32% of the obese boys and 41% of the obese girls grow into obese adults, and the degree of obesity is a predictive factor for adult obesity."
Do Obese Children Become Obese Adults? A Review of the Literature
Authors: D.S. Freedman, D.F. Williamson, T. Byers et al
Published: 1993 in Preventive Medicine (Highly Regarded Source)
Answer to the list question: Yes
"Background. Obese children may be at increased risk of becoming obese adults. To examine the relationship between obesity in childhood and obesity in adulthood, we reviewed the epidemiologic literature published between 1970 and July 1992. Comparison between studies was complicated by differences in study design, definitions of obesity, and analytic methods used. Although the correlations between anthropometric measures of obesity in childhood and those in adulthood varied considerably among studies, the associations were consistently positive. Results. About a third (26 to 41%) of obese preschool children were obese as adults, and about half (42 to 63%) of obese school-age children were obese as adults. For all studies and across all ages, the risk of adult obesity was at least twice as high for obese children as for nonobese children. The risk of adult obesity was greater for children who were at higher levels of obesity and for children who were obese at older ages. Conclusion. The wide range of estimates in this literature are, in part, due to differences in study designs, definitions of obesity, ages at which participants were measured, intervals between measurements, and population and cultural differences. © 1993 American Health Foundation and Academic Press."