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HHS HealthBeat (January 13, 2011)

Big teens, bigger adults

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Teens who are obese may find things are even worse for them after they become adults. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researcher Penny Gordon-Larsen saw it in data on more than 8,000 normal weight, overweight and obese 12- to 21-year-olds followed for about 13 years.

``In the normal weight population, about 1 to 2 percent became severely obese. In the obese population, it was more like 37 percent for males and 51 percent of females.’’ (12 seconds)

So an obese teen was about 16 times more likely than a normal weight or overweight teen to become severely obese in his or her 30s.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 7, 2011