Born slightly heavy on average, a sample of hundreds of infants in American Samoa continued to gain weight quickly after birth, achieving high rates of obesity within 15 months. Breastfeeding slowed weight gain in boys. Findings may presage infant obesity in other populations where obesity is increasing population wide.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — As some Pacific island cultures have “westernized” over the last several decades, among the changes has been a dramatic increase in obesity. Researchers don’t understand all the reasons why, but even a decade ago in American Samoa 59 percent of men and 71 percent of women were obese. A new Brown University study finds that the Samoan epidemic of obesity may start with rapid weight gain in early infancy. (more…)