Parental BMI critical for identifying at-risk children

Wednesday, 9 Sep 2015

Children with an obese parent are 14 times more likely to be eligible for bariatric surgery when they reach adulthood, a study spanning 20 years finds.

The absolute risk of meeting eligibility criteria was doubled if both the child and parent were obese on more than one childhood assessment, reported the study of 2647 individuals participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study.

A particularly concerning finding was that one-quarter of the children would meet EBS criteria in adulthood, the international team of researchers including Markus Juonala from the Murdoch Childrens Institute and Costan Magnussen from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in Tasmania wrote in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

In the context of the US population this would mean that of the present 65.6million US children aged 3-18 years 2 million would meet the criteria for weight loss surgery.

The findings suggest that recording the BMI of parents during visits to child-care units could help identify those who would benefit the most from targeted interventions, they said.

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