Approximately two thirds of American adults are obese or overweight. More and more studies are being done to try to help doctors and people prevent or reverse this problem.
Now a new study has come out in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that shows a direct link between adolescent obesity and the risk of severe obesity in adulthood.
In this study, almost 9000 young people, aged 12 to 21 were followed from 1996 to the present.
In this study 70% of the adolescents who were obese remained severely obese in adulthood. In addition another almost 8% of adolescents who were not severely obese became severely obese when they reached adulthood.
In summary, obese adolescents were 16 times more likely to become severely obesity in young adulthood, than adolescents who were normal or merely overweight.
These are startling numbers! They prove that the obesity epidemic in our society begins in adolescence. That is when we must begin to pay attention to this problem. Waiting until these adolescents are grown really makes it too late. The eating habits that adolescents adopt will carry them through the rest of their lives.
When we combine this information with another study that looked at Vitamin D levels in school children, we realize the importance of preventing obesity even more.
In this study, children with higher body weight and fat content were much more likely to also be Vitamin D insufficient.
What this means is that obesity in children not only increases their risk for many diseases in adulthood, but also increases their risk for all the vitamin D deficiency conditions as well. This includes an increased risk to 17 types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and many other conditions I discuss in my book.
Let me know if your community has any obesity prevention programs? Does the school where your children go have any programs to help children who are becoming obese? We must begin to change this epidemic.