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Study: Early years offer clues to obesity

NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say their study of obese children and teenagers indicates individuals' early years offer signs of a lifetime of obesity problems.

Dr. John Harrington of the Eastern Virginia Medical School said more than 50 percent of the obese children and teenagers his team studied were already overweight before they were 2 years old, the BBC reported Saturday.

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Of the more than 100 obese subjects studied, 25 percent were overweight by 5 months of age and 90 percent were overweight by the time they turned 5 years old.

The BBC said all of the study's subjects were overweight before they hit 10 years of age. The subject group had an average age of 12.

Harrington said the medical community should pay attention to the results of the study, additional specifics of which were not released.

"Too often, doctors wait until medical complications arise before they begin treatment," Harrington said.

"Getting parents and children to change habits that have already taken hold is a monumental challenge fraught with roadblocks and disappointments.

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