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In a study released Jan. 8, researchers found that “tweens” – girls from 9 to 12 – were more at risk for becoming overweight than even during their teen-age years. The study in the Journal of Pediatrics did not however say why and did not look at boys of the same age to see if they were more or less at risk than girls.
The worry is that chubby pre-teens can turn into chubby teens and studies have found that those who are overweight as children are more prone to become overweight adults. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. It tracked 2300 white and black girls starting at age 9 and every year until they were at least 18. Participants were again called when they were in their early 20s to check on their weight.
Not only are do girls at that age suddenly switch from eating what their parents prescribe to what their friends eat, but they become less active – talking on the phone for long periods and worrying about getting sweaty.
“It should be cool to be physically active and attractive,” Denise Simons-Morton of the NIH told the Associated Press.
SNEWS® View: Wouldn’t it be great if the fitness industry could help come up with a way to make it “cool” for girls to get sweaty, have muscles and be fit?