New Study Identifies Children Of Kindergarten Age At Risk Of Obesity

A study published in the online journal Pediatrics has determined that a large number of kindergarten age children are at risk for obesity.

The study involved examining 9 years of data regarding the height and weight of almost 6,000 white, black, and Hispanic schoolchildren. Information was collected as part of an ongoing Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.

The researchers noted that the proportion of overweight children increased significantly during the elementary school years. Excess weight gain was especially prevalent among Hispanic and African American girls.

Children of normal weight were found to be gaining excess weight, and children who were already overweight were continuing to gain weight. Large numbers of kindergarten age children were showing signs of increased body mass index (BMI), suggesting that they were at risk for becoming overweight or obese.

According to the study, 40 percent of children starting kindergarten had a BMI greater than the 75th percentile. Children with a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentile are considered to be overweight, whereas children with a BMI greater than the 95th percentile are actually obese.

There are several explanations for the apparent marked weight gain among young children. Increased availability of high-calorie snacks marketed for young children may be contributing to the problem. The sedentary lifestyle encouraged by too many hours spent playing video games or watching television may also be causing young children to put on excess weight by taking time away from physical activity which burns calories.

The researchers note that their findings point to the importance of providing interventions aimed at preventing obesity during the early elementary school years. Waiting until children reach adolescence may be ineffective as many children will have already gained excess weight, placing them at risk for health issues associated with obesity.

Source: CBS News

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2017
Company Information

© 2017 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.