Rural Areas Main Driver for Increasing Obesity

Nature volume 569pages260–264 (2019) : Full Text: Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic in adults

From Abstract:

  • Here we use 2,009 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in more than 112 million adults, to report national, regional and global trends in mean BMI segregated by place of residence (a rural or urban area) from 1985 to 2017.
  • We show that, contrary to the dominant paradigm, more than 55% of the global rise in mean BMI from 1985 to 2017—and more than 80% in some low- and middle-income regions—was due to increases in BMI in rural areas.
  •  In high-income and industrialized countries, we noted a persistently higher rural BMI, especially for women.

Most Popular GutsandGrowth Posts from Past Year

These five posts were the most popular (most views) in the past year:

This is a bike path from Canmore to Banff. I had a chance to ride an electric bike which was a lot of fun.

With Regard to Avoiding Excessive Weight Gain, Breastfeeding is Best

A recent study (AR Goetz et al J Pediatr 2018; 201: 27-33) examines the impact of breastfeeding on the growth of infants with high birth weight (HBW).

Background: “Exclusive breastfeeding is protective against high weight and is recommended by” the AAP for the first 6 months.  In this study, the authors hypothesized that “HBW infants would receive a lower percentage of breast milk and consume more formula than NBW infants.”

Key findings:

  • HBW infants with high weights at 7-12 months of age demonstrated a rapid decline in the percentage of breast milk feedings compared with HBW infants with normal weights at 7-12 months of age.
  • Normal birth weight infants with high weights at 7-12 months of age received a lower percentage of breast milk and more formula intake that those with normal weights at 7-12 months of age.

Because HBW is associated with later risk of obesity/overweight, identifying strategies early in life is important.  Furthermore, as a recent study in NEJM has shown (M Geserick et al. NEJM 2018; 379: 1303-12), a lot of weight gain issues happen in the first years of life:

  • Almost 90% of children who were obese at 3 years of age were overweight or obese in adolescence
  • Among obese adolescents, the most rapid weight gain had occurred between 2 and 6 years of age

My take: This study further shows a strong association between consumption of breast milk and normal weights at 7-12 months of age, both in HBW and NBW.

Related blog posts:

Near Lake Louise, Banff

Losing the Obesity Battle Early in Life

A recent study (M Geserick et al. NEJM 2018; 379: 1303-12) performed a prospective and retrospective analysis of a population-based sample of 51,505 German children to examine BMI in early childhood and risk of sustained obesity.

Key findings:

  • Most normal weight adolescents had a normal weight throughout childhood
  • Half (53%) of the obese adolescents had been overweight or obese from 5 years of age onward
  • Almost 90% of children who were obese at 3 years of age were overweight or obese in adolescence
  • Among obese adolescents, the most rapid weight gain had occurred between 2 and 6 years of age

My take: We are losing the childhood obesity battle at very young ages.

Abstract and Link to 1:32 Quick Summary: Acceleration of BMI in Early Childhood