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Study Says Obesity Pattern Can Start Before Kindergarten

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More than one third of American children are overweight or obese.

According to a new study, signs of this health problem can be detected earlier than some may think.

Researchers at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health followed nearly 8 thousand children.

Almost half of the kids who were obese at 14 were already overweight when they were 5.

"Children who came to kindergarten overweight had 4 times the risk of becoming obese compared with normal weight kindergartners," says study author Dr. Solveig Cunningham.

Pediatricians say taking simple healthier steps when children are small is the key to preventing obesity.

Dr. Dyan Hes says, "It's so easy to cut calories just by stopping juice in a child's diet, giving low fat milk after two instead of whole milk, getting your kids active.

Children should have one hour of physical activity a day."

The study also found that babies born large are at the highest risk of becoming obese by high school.