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Early Obesity Might Lead To Severe Obesity Later In Life

Update Date: May 06, 2014 10:15 AM EDT

Being obese at the age of 25 increases risk for serious weight problems after 35 years of age, according to a new study. 

Researchers examined the relationship among BMI at age 25, obesity later in life and biological indicators and found that people who were obese by age of 25 had a higher chance of more severe obesity later in life. 

Researchers based their findings on the data from 1999-2010 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. 

According to the study, men who were obese at age 25 had a 23.1% estimated probability of class III obesity (defined as a BMI greater than 40) after age 35, while men of a normal weight at age 25 only had a 1.1% chance of severe obesity after age 35.

In case of women the results were even more dramatic with likelihood of class III obesity jumping to 46.9% if obese at age 25 in contrast to just 4.8% for those at a normal weight. 

"The current findings suggest that the biological risks of longer-term obesity are primarily due to the risk of more severe obesity later in life among those obese early in life, rather than the impact of long-term obesity per se," said study lead author Jennifer B. Dowd, PhD, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health, Hunter College, in the press release. 

"This is good news in some respects, as overweight and obese young adults who can prevent additional weight gain can expect their biological risk factors to be no worse than those who reach the same level of BMI later in life."

Investigators admitted that long term obesity might have a role to play in chronic conditions as well.

The study will be published in the June issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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