What is the correlation between childhood or adolescent obesity and obesity in adulthood?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Obesity during childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of obesity during adulthood, with its attendant long-term health risks. This increased risk appears most pronounced for adolescent males with moderate to severe obesity. The long-term implications of obesity during infancy and early childhood on subsequent health are less clear. In general, the proportion of children with obesity who have obesity as adults increases with increased age at onset of obesity, such that 26-41% of preschoolers with obesity have obesity as adults, compared with 42-63% of school-aged children. Additionally, the higher the degree of obesity during childhood, the higher the risk of adult obesity.


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