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July 11, 1966

Followup Study of Obese Children

JAMA. 1966;197(2):45. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110020029018

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A followup study of persons who were obese children "points to the importance of adolescence" in determining whether this condition continues, University of Pennsylvania physicians told the Forum on Metabolism and Renal Diseases.

The study group, Albert J. Stunkard, MD, and Victor Burt, MD, of the psychiatry department reported, came from 2,000 children observed in an eastern city by the Public Health Service in 1937. In 1958, 200 of the most obese were examined again, and 83 still were obese.

In 1964, Dr. Stunkard said, ten of the 17 who had slimmed down were interviewed, as well as 20 who remained obese and five who lost some weight but still were overweight. They reported:

Obese as children, normal as adults—  Seven lost weight in adolescence (four said it "just happened," and three, all women, by dieting because of teasing and related concern over appearance). Two could not recall when they

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