Adolescence, not childhood, is when obesity is a problem

Surprisingly, underweight teenagers were generally healthy, research by Melbourne’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute shows.

The study of 16,000 Australian children aged between two and 18 found that poorer overall health and special healthcare needs were linked to underweight young children, but such problems shifted to overweight and obese individuals in adolescence.

Physical health problems were largely absent in obese or overweight toddlers but started to appear from the age of six or seven, according to the study published today in the International Journal of Obesity.