A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that obesity in children as young as age 5 is a likely indicator that the person also will be obese as an adult.
The New York Times featured this study in a recent article and quoted Leann L. Birch, a food and nutrition professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Birch, who was not involved in the study, offered possible explanations for why recent efforts to reduce childhood obesity through school programs have failed. Many of those programs have attempted to reach all children—obese or not—through healthier school lunches, nutrition classes and ditching soda machines, according to the article.
“This suggests that maybe one reason it didn’t work so well is that by the time the kids are 5, the horse is out of the barn,” Birch told the Times.