As the number of obese teenagers rises, so does their risk of becoming severely obese later on in life as adults. That’s according to a new study published in this weeks JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. Obesity carries with it serious health risks – life threatening illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, even arthritis. Obese adolescents were significantly more likely to become severley obese by their early 30s than individuals who were normal or overweight as adolescents.
In this first of its kind study, more than 8000 teens who were normal weight and overweight, were tracked until they reached adulthood. For the normal weight teens, about 1-2% became severely obese. In those who were already obese, 75% of them continued to be severely obese as they became young adults.
The study demonstrates the need for early interventions like teaching young kids the need for a healthier lifestyle long before they become teenagers. Small changes like going for a family walk and cutting out soda can make a big difference.