Being obese in adolescence increases the risk of being severely obese in adulthood. Individuals with severe obesity encounter serious and potentially life-threatening health complications.
“In 2000, an estimated 2.2 percent of adults, or 4.8 million individuals, were severely obese, with a disproportionately higher prevalence in women and racial/ethnic minorities,” write the authors of a new JAMA study examining the link between adolescent and adult obesity. “Yet, few national studies track individuals over time to understand the progression of obesity to severe obesity.”
Natalie The, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the incidence and risk of severe obesity in adulthood among individuals who were obese during adolescence. The group included 8,834 individuals, ages 12 to 21 years, who were enrolled in in the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
The individuals were followed up into adulthood to ages 24-33 years. In the initial phase of the study, 79 (1.0 percent) of the adolescents were severely obese. Of these 79 individuals, 60 (70.5 percent) remained severely obese in adulthood. The researchers found that individuals with severe obesity in adulthood had a higher adolescent BMI.
A substantial proportion of obese adolescents became severely obese by their early 30s, with incidence of obesity 37.1 percent in men and 51.3 percent in women. Less than 5 percent of individuals who were at a normal weight in adolescence became severely obese in adulthood. Findings highlight the need for interventions prior to adulthood to prevent the progression of obesity to severe obesity.
Weight loss basics:
• Make gradual changes in diet and exercise to effectively manage weight.
• Smaller and more frequent meals can aid in reducing overeating while stabilizing blood sugar levels.
• Balance foods in the diet according to the season.
Acupuncture, when combined with a reduced calorie diet and exercise, can assist in weight loss and weight management. Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture for weight loss as well as a wide range of other health conditions.
To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.