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Birth Weight Gain - Obesity - Weight Loss Facts
Rapid Post-Natal Weight Gain Can Cause Obesity
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Birth Weight - Weight Gain - Obesity

Because rapid linear growth is often accompanied by accelerated weight gain, it may not be surprising that children who grow rapidly during childhood are more likely to be obese as adults. Many of these children would also have been heavy at birth. An obesity and weight study by Parsons et al found, however, that those who were most vulnerable to developing obesity in association with rapid childhood growth were men who had been light at birth or who had thin or light mothers. This is an important finding as this pattern of growth is becoming common in developing countries that are experiencing a nutritional transition to Western lifestyles. In such countries, women tend to be small, following an impoverished childhood, and intergenerational effects lead to the persistence of high prevalences of low birth weight. Changing economic circumstances and population lifestyles, however, make rapid postnatal weight gain likely, perhaps particularly in boys, who may receive preferential treatment in the sharing of food. In developed countries, individuals who may be at increased risk because of their pattern of growth are those born prematurely or after intrauterine growth restriction. They have low birth weight and then grow up in a society with low levels of activity and high levels of dietary fat and sugar.

Obesity & Overweight - Future Research
Instead of concentrating research efforts on developing drug treatments for established adult obesity, perhaps we should use what we know already to design and evaluate social, behavioral, or policy interventions aimed at children. Association does not equal causation, but systematic reviews of observational studies such as Parsons et al's may guide us to the groups of individuals who are most at risk of adult obesity and the critical periods for intervention.

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