March 02, 2010
Inflammation In Obese 3 Year Olds

You might be wondering why 3 year olds are fed to the point of obesity. I know I am.

CHAPEL HILL A study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers found that obese children as young as 3 years old have elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that in adults is considered an early warning sign for possible future heart disease.

In addition, the study found elevated levels of two other inflammatory markers the ratio of ferritin/transferrin saturation (F/T) and the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) in obese children. Elevated F/T levels started at age 6 and elevated ANC levels were found starting at age 9.

High fructose corn syrup in baby foods is probably contributing to this outcome. But parents with obese babies really ought to notice and respond appropriately.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 March 02 10:01 PM  Aging Weight Studies

epobirs said at March 3, 2010 1:01 AM:

If government officials really cared about childhood obesity, they'd get rid of the ridiculous trade policies that raise the cost of using proper sugar. This is a pure gift to the corn interests, much like the idiotic ethanol requirements.

Assuming, of course, that high fructose corn syrup is the villain it is made out to be.

Lono said at March 3, 2010 8:42 AM:

HFCS is definately a MAJOR culprit - but - I think a lot of it goes back to the fact that American consumers are largely uneducated about the fact that Fast Food and heavily Processed Foods are much much more calorie laden and unhealthy than their home made counterparts.

My children had some unexpected food allergies - which caused me to be very careful with their diets - but the number of co-workers (especially younger ones) that feed their 1 and 2 year olds McDonalds - on a fairly regular basis - just blows my frikkin' mind!

Back just a couple of decades ago - and these people were still feeding their extremely young children somewhat innapropriate meals - like burgers and fries - but all home made and with much much healthier ingredients!

And - of course - the profiteers of these markets don't give a damn any more than the Tobacco companies do about their customers - since it's still a pretty slow kill method allowing upcoming generations to replace their customer base as needed.

David Microwave said at March 3, 2010 2:36 PM:

The problem is not McDonald's or the "profiteers", but the gov't, and media establishments that keep telling us to avoid saturated fats when in fact it's the carbs and vegetable oils that are causing the health problems.

Xiaoding said at March 3, 2010 2:43 PM:

It's the parents, it's the parents, it's the parents!!

Morons raising fat pig morons, is the problem. The info is out there, they don't wanna know! Pigs, all of them.

tom scott said at March 3, 2010 2:56 PM:

This will be my third attempt to post a comment. It tells me my text is not formatted. Google "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" I had more to say but I'm done with this comment system.

jgreene said at March 3, 2010 3:53 PM:

I want to see if the comment section works and also comment that FAT children always have FAT parents. I wonder why?

DensityDuck said at March 3, 2010 3:56 PM:

So obese children have higher levels of chemicals associated with obesity? whoa! In other news, a dog bit a man today.

Eve Maler said at March 3, 2010 4:15 PM:

Indeed, HFCS and similar are probably the cause. The reference above to "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" is spot on. (I blogged that UCSF lecture at my site; he talks about obese 6-month-olds!) To the commenter who advocated "proper sugar": I wouldn't count on its being all that much healthier than HFCS; it contains nearly as much fructose and just as little usable nutritive value...

amy said at March 3, 2010 4:59 PM:

Obese three year old. That phrase shouldn't even exist in life.

Javert said at March 3, 2010 5:29 PM:

What was the fat content of soylent green again?

Randall Parker said at March 3, 2010 6:29 PM:

Sorry about the commenting problems. Here's the link to Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Robert Lustig.

I've previously embedded Lustig's lecture on the evils of fructose in a post.


It is crazy, isn't it? You can't blame the baby. It is too small to be responsible for the decisions on what gets placed in its mouth.

hiddensalience said at March 3, 2010 7:43 PM:

The bottom line problem is that people do and eat all sorts of things at levels never done before and they lack the awareness of the deleterious effects. Profiteers do exploit this lack of awareness (and usually lack awareness themselves). More sugar, vegetable oils, refined grains are consumed today than ever before. Nor have people always consumed factory farmed, adulterated meats, GMO foods, food additives, etc. Is it any wonder that health is declining?

I'm always amazed it isn't worse. I speculate that if trends continue, people are going to start having trouble regenerating.

Yes, government subsidies and special interest lobbying are indeed a cancer on the health of the USA.

Akatsukami said at March 4, 2010 3:50 AM:

I propose that all the complainers be restricted to a medieval west-European diet.

bowdoin said at March 4, 2010 4:29 AM:

Don't blame high fructose corn syrup. It's essentially the same as table sugar. Blame overeating, period.

MrsBurns said at March 4, 2010 8:33 AM:

Inflammation is also a side effect of an imbalance in the consumption of Omega 3/Omega 6 essential fatty acids. The modern SAD diet (standard American diet) is chock-full of Omega 6's which causes the inflammation. Omega 3's, which are present in wild-caught, cold water oily fish AND in GRASS-FED beef products, help remove the inflammation. If kids eat lots of feed-lot beef that are stuffed full of grains, the Omega 6's would be skewed completely towards producing an inflammatory response.

The Weston A Price Foundation website has great research information available on the essential fatty acid balance and how to achieve it. Key takeaway: avoid processed foods and mass-produced meat. They are killers on so many levels.

hiddensalience said at March 4, 2010 7:26 PM:

"Blame overeating, period."

People have had ample opportunity to overeat in the past and yet by and large they were not obese and unhealthy the way Americans are today. Obviously overeating doesn't explain the problem. In fact there is evidence that overeating is a symptom. Fructose (which is in sugar/HFCS) doesn't stimulate the release of leptin (a hormone that controls appetite) like glucose does. It also induces leptin resistance which futhur screws up the appetite. Link.

I don't disagree that sugar is as bad as HFCS. HFCS may or may not be worse. The problem with HFCS is that its so darn cheap (at least partly due to subsidies) that the food industry puts it in everything.

MoniqueWS said at March 4, 2010 10:16 PM:

Mothers should breastfeed on demand their infants and toddlers. No obesity there. Anything else is less. Young children learn how to healthily meet their nutrition needs.

PacRim Jim said at March 6, 2010 3:04 PM:

Once we get robot bodies, we will be able to eat whatever we want--we just won't want (or need) to.

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