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Obesity-Height Link

Taller Child More Likely to be Obese Adult

In a recently published study, 1055 children in the Bogalusa Heart Study were examined at 2 years, 8 years and then, on average, at 18 years after that. Those in the top 5% in terms of height, when compared to those of below average height, were 2.5 times more likely to have a body mass index of 30 or over as adults. They were also five times more likely to have excessively high fat-fold measurements as adults.As expected, obese children were more likely to be obese adults. But even after correcting for childhood fatness, tall stature remained a predictor of adult obesity.

[Commentary by J. Birkbeck] It is known that obesity results in accelerated development, with increased linear growth (ie, height) and advanced skeletal maturity, but apparently even in the absence of childhood obesity there is a relationship between height and adult obesity.

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