Children gain weight after starting school

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After school, most children gain weight

According to a study by the Mainz Institute for Sports Science at Johannes Gutenberg University, 20 percent of eight-year-olds are too fat. While the weight development up to the age of five years still corresponds to that of 20 years ago, children gain weight especially shortly after starting school. Sports physician Professor Perikles Simon suspects the cause more in the families and less in everyday school life.

20 percent of eight-year-olds are overweight
While children in Germany up to the age of five have on average about the weight that their peers also weighed in 20 years ago - ten percent of this age group were and are overweight - according to the study, many children experience after school to a significant weight gain. Accordingly, 20 percent of eight-year-olds are too fat. Sascha Hoffmann from the Institute for Sports Science at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz explains that after the age of five, three years follow, "in which, in contrast to an international and a German comparison population from back then, we can suddenly find a significant increase in overweight."

However, the exact causes for the weight gain of many children after school are still unclear. Study director Professor Perikles Simon does not see the reasons in everyday school life: “Our children were enrolled 20 years ago and still have a similar school environment today. Only in the past there was no rapid increase in obesity. We are assuming a fairly complex interplay of several factors here, but these are likely to be found predominantly in the home environment of the children. "The study was published in the journal Obesity. (Ag)

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Image: S. Hofschlaeger /

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