Obesity sets in early

Study suggests propensity for lifelong obesity established early in life

Whether someone will be overweight or obese in adulthood is likely determined very early in life, research finds.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine tracked more than 7,000 children, finding that a third of those who were overweight in kindergarten were obese by eighth grade, and that nearly every child who was obese remained that way, according to The New York Times. Additionally, every year after kindergarten, the chances a child would either put on or lose excess weight diminished greatly. By age 11, there were few changes: Those who were overweight or obese generally remained so, while those of normal weight did not become fat.

Researchers said the effect may occur due to a combination of genetic predispositions to being heavy, and environments that encourage overeating in those prone to it.