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Study: Young girls more likely to be fat

Posted by AregM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - As every Western nation struggles with child obesity, the Swedes are puzzled by an unusual blip in the data: Why are little girls more likely to be fat than little boys? A recent study by researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University showed that today's 4-year-old girls were six times as likely to be obese compared to 20 years ago — a bigger jump than among boys. "This indicates that there is a relatively recent change in our lifestyles that is behind this," said Ulf Holmback, the lead researcher for the study published in the April issue of Acta Paediatrica. "But it's difficult to say what that is." The weight increase itself was expected — Swedes, along with most other Europeans, have been getting heavier. But obesity experts are scratching their heads over the gender difference that emerges in obesity rates. In 1982, just 1 percent of all 4-year-olds were deemed obese. By 2002, 2 percent of the boys that age were obese, but 6 percent of the girls were. The discrepancy was similar for 10-year-olds. An analysis of children who are overweight — not obese — the percentage of overweight 4-year-olds has roughly doubled to 20 percent for girls and 18 percent for boys during the same 20-year period. (Generally, a child 42 inches tall weighing 50 pounds would be considered obese; the same child weighing 45 pounds would be considered overweight.) ....Continued on;_ylt=Av4zBDM7L50H8TbQ1_Hze1TVJRIF
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