6 in 10 US children projected to be obese by age 35

Up to 60 percent of children in the United States will be obese by the time they turn 35, according to a predictive analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

For the analysis, researchers obtained height and weight data for 41,500 children and adults compiled in previous studies. The researchers used a computer model to create a representative sample of 1 million children based on this data and projected their growth trajectories for height and weight up to the age of 35. The simulation predicted 55.2 to 60.0 percent of America's current children will grow up to be obese.

"The authors' predictions are fairly consistent with current adult obesity prevalence … Trends show obesity occurring earlier in adulthood, and [the] current level of childhood obesity suggests that the trend will continue," Lona Sandon, PhD, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved with study, told HealthDay.

"Concerned parents can make efforts to prepare and provide healthier foods at home, plan regular scheduled mealtimes, limit screen time, encourage participation in sports, encourage participation in active leisure time activities instead of more sedentary activities and, most of all, set an example by being active, having a healthy relationship with their own food choices and having regular mealtimes, as well," added Dr. Sandon.

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