An increase in obesity in the population is one of the problems many industrialized nations face today. Along with rising levels of obesity come many other health concerns such as heart disease that are frequent causes of death. Often the rise in obesity is attributed to the sedentary lifestyle many people in the afflicted societies have adopted. Fewer people have physically demanding jobs or exercise on a regular basis while the access to food high in calories has become easy and cheap.
But obesity does not just afflict adults, but children as well. Interestingly children younger than five years of age have a slightly lower chance of being overweight than they did twenty years ago. This changes as they get older and with eight years the rate of overweight children has nearly doubled compared to the past. The sharp increase in weight happens right around the time when children start school. So what is it about this time in their life that leads to the increase in weight?
– Stephan Koehler
S. Hoffmann, R. Ulrich, P. Simon: “Refined Analysis of the Critical Age Ranges of Childhood Overweight: Implications for Primary Prevention”, Obesity, 012