Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BMI Changes Between Fifth and Tenth Grades

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief 

School lunch. Photo by US Dept. of Agriculture via Flickr
We have certainly published studies on overweight or obese toddlers and preschoolers with the hope of intervening as early as possible to attenuate the increasing weight gain—but what happens to weight gain and BMI in pre-adolescent children as they enter and move through adolescence? Does weight gain get worse or better? Can you influence the trajectory of that weight gain in this age group as much as if you altered things in early childhood?

Schuster et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2014-2195) studied the factors that can result in progression to obesity as well as BMI reduction factors in a cohort of fifth graders followed through tenth grade. Those fifth graders who already had a negative body image due to their being overweight or obese, lower socioeconomic status, and/or an obese parent had the most difficulty lowering their BMI as they moved through adolescence.

What’s worse—fifth graders who were not yet overweight but had a negative body image of themselves, combined with an obese parent and/or a sedentary television-watching lifestyle were on a pathway to increasing their BMI trajectory unless intervening actions could be taken.

If you are interested in learning more as to what factors enhance or inhibit a child from becoming overweight or obese between fifth and tenth grade so you can better counsel your patients accordingly, this study weighs in admirably for your consideration.

You would be a pound foolish not to read it—if you want to work with your overweight or obese teens to lower elevated BMIs. And speaking of lowering BMIs in teens—have you found some ways to do this that yield success in your practice? Share your thoughts: leave a comment below, send us an eLetter on our journal website, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Related Reading:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for joining in the conversation. Please follow our commenting guidelines, which you can find on our "About First Read" page.