Fast growth in early childhood increases risk of overweight in adolescence
Children who quickly put on weight between the ages of two and seven have a 25 to 35 times greater chance of developing obesity later in life. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have an even higher chance. Children with symptoms of depresseion of who are impulsive also have a higher chance of becoming overweight. This was discoverd by Eryn Liem, researcher at the University Medical Centre Groningen. She will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on June 9, 2010.
Liem conducted her research with the framework of TRAILS (Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey), a large-scale, long-term research project on the mental, physical and social development of about 2,500 adolescents in the North of the Netherlands. The researcher examined the DNA profiles of about 1,200 sixteen-year-olds, with particular attention to genetic variations in two genes (FTO and MC4R) associated with obesity. She then compared the profiles with measures of body fat.