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A recent study published in the medical journal, Pediatrics, provides the “strongest evidence to date” that adult obesity is connected to being overweight as a child. Philip R. Nader, the lead researcher, explained that this study focused on one thousand children from ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged households and followed them at regular intervals from ages two through twelve. The basic finding was that if toddlers or young children are overweight at least once, they are 5 times more likely to be overweight at age twelve; and the more times they are overweight, the greater the likelihood that they will be overweight at twelve. A child’s weight in elementary school is an even stronger predictor for being overweight in junior high: overweight once as a child means 25 times more likely to be overweight at twelve, overweight 3 times in elementary school means more than three hundred times more likely to be overweight at twelve years old.

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