STUDY: Simulation of Growth Trajectories of Childhood Obesity into Adulthood


A CHOICES study finds that the obesity epidemic is far from over and is likely to become much worse, as study results predict that 57% of today’s children will have obesity at age 35. Public health professionals need to re-double their efforts to prevent such an outcome. The CHOICES Project has identified cost-effective interventions in school and community settings that can prevent future obesity cases.

The current childhood obesity epidemic has been well-documented, but more research is needed on the long-term risks for children. For this study, the researchers developed an individual-level simulation model for the current population of children in the U.S. that estimates the risk of adult obesity at age 35 years. Height and weight data were gathered from 5 nationally-representative longitudinal studies. The model, representative of the U.S. population in 2016, created 1,000 virtual populations of 1 million children each. Using this model with these virtual populations, obesity risk trajectories were projected up to the age of 35 years.

The researchers predict that, if nothing is done to change current trends, 57% of today’s children will have obesity at age 35…full summary and article access at the CHOICES Project website.

Ward Z, Long M, Resch S, Giles C, Cradock A, Gortmaker S. Simulation of Growth Trajectories of Childhood Obesity into Adulthood. N Engl J Med. 2017 Nov 30;377(22):2145-2153. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1703860