By now, many New Year’s resolutions of weight loss and healthy living have gone by the wayside thanks to a decadent Mardi Gras season, weak resolve or poor planning. And it’s no help that many festivities in south Louisiana revolve around food and drink. Long-term weight loss here is hard.
But after 20 years of intense study, researchers and physicians know how to help adults lose weight. And it’s no big secret. Winning the battle of the bulge requires adhering to tried-and-true behavioral modifications in exercise and diet.
But while researchers have focused on satisfying the demand for adult weight-loss solutions, the percentage of children and adolescents classified as obese and overweight has quietly crept up to 32% nationally and 50% statewide. “That’s a dramatic rise in the past 30 or 40 years,” says Pennington Biomedical Research Center Associate Professor Corby Martin. “In the early ’70s, that number was about 5%.”
An early onset of unhealthy weight gain increases the probability a child will develop into an obese adolescent and adult. Overweight kids also have an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and lipid imbalances, which take a tremendous toll on their bodies and can potentially shorten their lifespans.
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- Research Center: Pennington Biomedical Research Center
- Featured NORC Member(s): Amanda Staiano, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Obesity and Health Behavior; Corby Martin, PhD, Associate Professor of Ingestive Behavior