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Children monitored regularly for height and weight are less likely to be overweight, according to research led by the University of Manchester, including Dr Rinita Dam in the University of Oxford Radcliffe Department of Medicine.

Child holding a tape measure

Publishing in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, the researchers say current practice may fail to spot a large number of children who are a normal weight on school entry but develop obesity in later in their lives: typically, a single measurement is taken when children start school, which may not be repeated until they are aged 11; only children who are obese from a very young age are easily identified for support.

The data allowed the researchers to plot population-level and individual-level growth curves for girls and boys and find typical patterns. The study reviewed the literature and pooled data from 54 studies and over 750,000 children worldwide.

Read more (Radcliffe Department of Medicine website)

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