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  1. #1
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    Default Among 4-Year-Olds, 1 in 5 Obese

    CHICAGO (AP) A striking new study says almost 1 in 5 American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children, with nearly a third of them obese. Researchers were surprised to see differences by race at so early an age.

    Overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese, the study suggests. Obesity is more common in Hispanic and black youngsters, too, but the disparity is most startling in American Indians, whose rate is almost double that of whites.

    The lead author said that rate is worrisome among children so young, even in a population at higher risk for obesity because of other health problems and economic disadvantages.

    "The magnitude of these differences was larger than we expected, and it is surprising to see differences by racial groups present so early in childhood," said Sarah Anderson, an Ohio State University public health researcher. She conducted the research with Temple University's Dr. Robert Whitaker.

    Dr. Glenn Flores, a pediatrics and public health professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, said the research is an important contribution to studies documenting racial and ethnic disparities in children's weight.

    "The cumulative evidence is alarming because within just a few decades, America will become a 'minority majority' nation," he said. Without interventions, the next generation "will be at very high risk" for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity, said Flores, who was not involved in the new research.

    The study is an analysis of nationally representative height and weight data on 8,550 preschoolers born in 2001. Children were measured in their homes and were part of a study conducted by the government's National Center for Educational Statistics. The results appear in Monday's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

    Almost 13 percent of Asian children were obese, along with 16 percent of whites, almost 21 percent of blacks, 22 percent of Hispanics, and 31 percent of American Indians.

    Children were considered obese if their body-mass index, a height-weight ratio, was in the 95th percentile or higher based on government BMI growth charts. For 4-year-olds, that would be a BMI of about 18.

    For example, a girl who is 4 1/2 years old, 40 inches tall and 42 pounds would have a BMI of about 18, weighing 4 pounds more than the government's upper limit for that age, height and gender.

    Some previous studies of young children did not distinguish between kids who were merely overweight versus obese, or they examined fewer racial groups.

    The current study looked only at obesity and a specific age group. Anderson called it the first analysis of national obesity rates in preschool kids in the five ethnic or racial groups.

    The researchers did not examine reasons for the disparities, but others offered several theories.

    Flores cited higher rates of diabetes in American Indians, and also Hispanics, which scientists believe may be due to genetic differences.

    Also, other factors that can increase obesity risks tend to be more common among minorities, including poverty, less educated parents, and diets high in fat and calories, Flores said.

    Jessica Burger, a member of the Little River Ottawa tribe and health director of a tribal clinic in Manistee, Mich., said many children at her clinic are overweight or obese, including preschoolers.

    Burger, a nurse, said one culprit is gestational diabetes, which occurs during a mother's pregnancy. That increases children's chances of becoming overweight and is almost twice as common in American Indian women, compared with whites.

    She also blamed the federal commodity program for low-income people that many American Indian families receive. The offerings include lots of pastas, rice and other high-carbohydrate foods that contribute to what Burger said is often called a "commod bod."

    "When that's the predominant dietary base in a household without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, that really creates a better chance of a person becoming obese," she said.

    Also, Burger noted that exercise is not a priority in many American Indian families struggling to make ends meet, with parents feeling stressed just to provide basic necessities.

    To address the problem, her clinic has created activities for young Indian children, including summer camps and a winter break "outdoor day" that had kids braving 8-degree temperatures to play games including "snowsnake."

    That's a traditional American Indian contest in which players throw long, carved wooden "snakes" along a snow or ice trail to see whose lands the farthest.

    The hope is that giving kids used to modern sedentary ways a taste of a more active traditional American Indian lifestyle will help them adopt healthier habits, she said.

    Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by AMA
    Disturbing. Food is fuel. Period.

    These kids will most likely grow up to be obese adults. Requiring more food, bigger clothing, and an atypical amount of resources in general. Not to mention the health issues. Obese, elderly people don't seem to exist for a reason.

    What kind of parent allows their children to become medically obese?

  2. #2
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Disturbing. Food is fuel. Period.

    These kids will most likely grow up to be obese adults. Requiring more food, bigger clothing, and an atypical amount of resources in general. Not to mention the health issues. Obese, elderly people don't seem to exist for a reason.

    What kind of parent allows their children to become medically obese?
    Bad ones.



    However, I do have to call into question BMI as an obesity indicator. Most athletes are obese according to BMI. Will Smith is obese according to BMI.

    But I have noticed there are a lot more fat kids now. It's the fast food/TV/Easy Mac/Coca-cola lifestyle. It's sickening.



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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Bad ones.



    However, I do have to call into question BMI as an obesity indicator. Most athletes are obese according to BMI. Will Smith is obese according to BMI.

    But I have noticed there are a lot more fat kids now. It's the fast food/TV/Easy Mac/Coca-cola lifestyle. It's sickening.
    So are you calling me sickening?
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    A curious note...

    Children were considered obese if their body-mass index, a height-weight ratio, was in the 95th percentile or higher based on government BMI growth charts.
    Where is this 95th percentile coming from? How many years gone by?

    It makes very little sense when you can have ~20% of the kids be over the 95th percentile.

    Of course I'm not say obesity in kids isn't a problem because it clearly is.

    Genes doesn't change... so it has to be due to a diet/life style change. Funny thing is I thought the fast food generation ought to be something like 10-20 years ago... Not now, when even MacD is putting out "healthier alternatives" on their menu.

    Sedatory life styles? Kids sitting in front of the computer or playing video games rather than playing sports etc outside? And parents are too busy making a living to spend quality time with their kids?
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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    If you look at the trends, it makes things look very bad:







    The fattest 3 states: Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee

    Seems like part of the problem is cultural. Yeah, that's right, I'm lookin at you Bible Belt! (Assuming your belt still fits)

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    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Bad ones.



    However, I do have to call into question BMI as an obesity indicator. Most athletes are obese according to BMI. Will Smith is obese according to BMI.

    But I have noticed there are a lot more fat kids now. It's the fast food/TV/Easy Mac/Coca-cola lifestyle. It's sickening.
    I agree with this. The existence of such joys in life do assist in bad parenting. Parents aren't exactly gettin those kids out and makin'em sweat much anymore either. My Mom used to let us eat all we wanted. But she also took us hiking too. Sometimes 15 miles.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by professor goodstain View Post
    So are you calling me sickening?
    If you are morbidly fat, I would think your physical appearance is sickening, yes.



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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Bad ones.

    However, I do have to call into question BMI as an obesity indicator. Most athletes are obese according to BMI. Will Smith is obese according to BMI.

    But I have noticed there are a lot more fat kids now. It's the fast food/TV/Easy Mac/Coca-cola lifestyle. It's sickening.
    Yes. The parents are endangering their kids lives.

    BMI is faulty for people with low body fat (high overall weight), and Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Korean).

    I don't understand how any human can lack respect for the intricate engineering of the body.

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    And then you allways have New Jersey outlawing kickball. The rational eludes me as to why. Oh ya. The fat kids weren't picked first.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Disturbing. Food is fuel. Period.

    These kids will most likely grow up to be obese adults. Requiring more food, bigger clothing, and an atypical amount of resources in general. Not to mention the health issues. Obese, elderly people don't seem to exist for a reason.

    What kind of parent allows their children to become medically obese?
    Type II diabetes is an increasing health concern. Many studies have shown that the rise of this phenomenon is mediated by obesity (and vice versa) and other health-related risk factors in children, start as early as the prenatal phase, with one of the highest indication being that of birthweight. Interestingly, Native children are increasingly falling off the sides of the normal curve as being either low or high birthweights, which may predispose them for Type II diabetes, obesity and other related health concerns.

    For the Native population, there's this theory of: "The Thrifty Genotype" to explain this great epidemic of Type II diabetes amongst this population. This is important as a lot of these individuals then also become co-morbid for obesity as well.

    One of the first challenges in combating obesity is prevention (obviously). And, with that comes accurate assessment of risk-factors (a huge one being Type II diabetes), and, changes that's within the federal and state governments' mandates to be targeted with a driven focus. Such as prenatal education programs (specifically targeted for different ethno-cultural groups), school lunch programs, accessibility of the choices of food through the food-stamp program (like mentioned in the article), eradicating soft drinks/chips from vending machine for primary aged kids, and a whole host of primary prevention that seems to be lagging behind while the waistband expands. And, once the problem is big enough (pun intended), then we're all: OH!

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