Early Overeating Leads to Obesity in Children
Overweight and obese kids older than 6 to 10 years old actually eat fewer calories per day than their normal-weight peers, according to a study of over 12,000 young Americans. At younger ages, heavier children consume more, as would be expected. These results suggest that childhood obesity is triggered by overeating early in life. Then, as a child gets older, the higher weight is maintained by mechanisms other than just calorie consumption. For example, heavy adolescents may not get enough exercise, leading them to remain overweight despite eating fewer calories than their leaner peers. This suggests that efforts to keep kids trim should begin during early childhood.
Source: Pediatrics, published online Sept. 10, 2012