We hear everywhere that those who are obese as a child are likely to be obese even when they grow up. But what is the reason why childhood obesity becomes almost predictive of adult obesity? Here I will briefly explain why scientists and wellness experts identify childhood obesity as a problem that does not resolve with growth, but instead leads to further health and metabolism problems as you grow up.
The first problem is the adipocytes, or body fat cells. When a baby is born, the number of adipocytes increases to about nine years of age , after which the body settles on a standard number of adipocytes for that particular person. So, if the child gets fat from those years,adipocytes will also be more in adulthood . These adipocytes can then enlarge, so a person with a normal percentage of adipocytes can gain weight independently of it, because it is the size of the cells that is more voluminous. Only if you get excessively fat, the cells cannot fill up further and other adipocytes are created.
But in general, the body decides how many adipocytes we have by about nine years of age . If we are thin as children, then we are more likely to stay thin. If we are fat as children, the body has settled on a greater number of adipocytes.
This leads, according to scientists, to 26 to 41 percent of obese preschool children becoming obese adults, then a third, and half of obese school-age children becoming obese adults ( source ) .
An aggravating circumstance is the fact that it doesn’t matter how long a child has been fat. Whether for two or three years or less.
What is important is precisely that he has gained weight in a delicate moment of development.
To make you understand: those who gain weight after puberty have less risk of staying fat in adulthood.
This does not mean, mind you, that those who were obese as a child are doomed to be fat as an adult.
This means that a former obese child will always have problems managing weight in adulthood, will have a lower metabolism than someone born and raised in a normal weight range, and therefore more difficulty losing weight.