Childhood Clumsiness Linked to Adult Obesity

August 13, 2008

Adults who become obese in their 30s are more likely to have been clumsy and have poor physical coordination as children, according to research published Aug. 12 in BMJ Online First.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who become obese in their 30s are more likely to have been clumsy and have poor physical coordination as children, according to research published Aug. 12 in BMJ Online First.

Walter Osika, M.D., and Scott M. Montgomery, Ph.D., from Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, examined the association between neurological function (as assessed by measures of childhood physical control) and obesity (body mass index of 30 or more at age 33 years) in 11,042 people born in the United Kingdom during one week in 1958.

The researchers found that among 7,990 people assessed by their teachers at 7 years of age, those who became obese were more likely to be judged as having poor hand control (adjusted odds ratio 1.57), poor coordination (odds ratio 2.30) and being clumsy (odds ratio 3.91). Among 6,875 people assessed by their doctors at 11 years of age, those who became obese were also more likely to have had poor scores for copying designs, marking squares and picking up matches. Adjusting for body mass index at these ages had no effect.

"Some aspects of poorer neurological function associated with adult obesity may have their origins in childhood," Osika and Montgomery conclude.

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