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Researchers: Formula Can Predict Childhood Obesity

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Researchers say a simple formula can predict a newborn’s chances of becoming obese in childhood.

Researchers point to several factors known right when a child is born. Besides birth weight, the factors include the body mass index of the child’s parents, the number of people in the household, the mother’s professional status and whether she smoked during pregnancy.

The calculation has an 80 percent chance of being right. Once a child gains weight it’s harder to lose it, so prevention is key.

“Maybe this calculator will get some families who might otherwise not take a healthy lifestyle seriously to take it more seriously,” said Dr. Jonathan Fanaroff of UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

More than a third of children and teens are overweight or obese in the U.S.

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