TSU researchers help ID early childhood obesity risk

A recent study conducted by researchers at Tennessee State University and Case Western Reserve shows that childhood obesity risk can be predicted as early as two months old.

TSU officials announced today findings of the study. Read more here.

Researchers at both universities analyzed “well-child records,” finding that normal-weight babies with a body-mass index in the 17 percentile were found to have plateaued at about two months and rarely deviated over the next five years. In constrast, overweight or obese babies crossed the 17 percentile many months later (about age 14 months) and continued an upward climb when BMI growth patterns were monitored.

Results show that obesity rates historically difficult to define in young children and the TSU/Case Western effort might change the process by which obesity is traditionally diagnosed.

“We found that, by age five, normal-weight children developed differently from birth than those considered overweight, obese or severely obese,” Dr. Lisaann Gittner (pictured), TSU assistant professor of public service and coauthor of the study, said in the release.