Kids from Tough Neighbourhoods More Likely to Be Obese as Adults
Being overweight or obese early in life affects health across the lifespan. 
Being overweight or obese early in life affects health across the lifespan. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Kids from Tough Neighbourhoods More Likely to Be Obese as Adults

Parents, take note. Children who grow up in disadvantaged neighbourhoods are nearly one-third more likely to experience obesity as adults, warn researchers.

According to study lead author Steven Alvarado, Professor at Cornell University,

“Growing up in a disadvantaged neighbourhood sticks with you and can have a negative impact on one’s health through increasing one’s chance of obesity in adulthood.”

The research further reveals that the chance of experiencing obesity in adulthood is 16 percent greater among children up to age 10 who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and 29 percent greater for adolescents age 11 to 18. Overall, the odds rose 31 percent.

Also Read : Obesity in Kids May Be Related to This Gene Variant

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The research team defined "disadvantaged" neighbourhoods based on seven variables, including median income and home values and the percentage of residents who were living in poverty, unemployed or had earned bachelor's degrees.

The research accounted for these factors by comparing siblings.

The siblings largely shared the same genes and parenting habits but may have experienced different neighbourhood circumstances growing up, because their families have moved or their neighbourhoods changed over time between sibling births.

The study is the first to adjust for criteria such as grandparents' experiences in segregated schools and neighbourhoods, while exploring the link between growing up in tough neighbourhoods and adult obesity.

“We must continue to consider the context in which individuals are making decisions, the neighbourhood resources that could serve as catalysts or suppressors for any genetic predispositions toward obesity in adulthood.”
Steven Alvarado

Also Read : After-School Programmes May Benefit Children With Obesity

(This story was published from a syndicated feed. Only the headline and picture has been edited by FIT)

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