Kids won't outgrow obesity

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Here in the states, there's a new study out today about kids and obesity. It says infants and toddlers who are overweight are five times more likely to be fat teenagers. Helen Palmer reports from the Health Desk at WGBH.


HELEN PALMER: This study spanned 10 locations and over a thousand children.

Lead author Philip Nader says it shows that for most kids, it's not just baby fat and they won't grow out of it.

But Nader, who teaches pediatrics at the University of California at San Diego, says neither kids nor parents deserve blame.

PHILIP NADER: We really need as a society to take a look at the environment that children are raised in now.

Vending machines, video games, TV, fast food — these all help explain why now more than 15% of children are overweight - compared with just 4% 40 yrs ago, Nader says.

Since three quarters of chubby children become hefty adults, this is a fiscal time bomb. The Dept of Health and Human Services says obesity currently costs over $117 billion a year.

In Boston, this is Helen Palmer for Marketplace.

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