Fat Cell Count Set in Childhood

Posted on May 5, 2008  Comments (1)

Fat cell number is set in childhood and stays constant in adulthood

As fat people have an abundance of fat tissue, the natural assumption is that fat people have more fat cells, or ‘adipocytes’. That’s only part of the story – it turns out that overweight and obese people not only have a surplus of fat cells, they have larger ones too.

During adulthood, about 8% of fat cells die every year only to be replaced by new ones. As a result, adults have a constant number of fat cells, even those who lose masses of weight. Instead, it’s changes in the volume of fat cells that causes body weight to rise and fall.

we couldn’t have a clearer indication of the importance of childhood as a window for preventing obesity and the chronic diseases affected by it – cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more.

The message is especially stark following the recent Foresight report, which estimated that if current trends are left unchecked, by 2050 a quarter of all UK children under the age of 16 will be obese. The knowledge that their fat cell count will then be set for life makes the cost of inaction even higher. Fortunately, it seems that the UK Government is taking appropriate steps and recently pledged over a third of a billion pounds on a concerted strategy to tackle childhood obesity.

Related: $500 Million to Reduce Childhood Obesity in USAObesity Epidemic Explained – Kind OfDrinking Soda and Obesity

One Response to “Fat Cell Count Set in Childhood”

  1. Monica Benut
    June 1st, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

    I think a lot has to do with the genes in which we grow up with. The trouble with all the obesity these days is lack of education. It is a scary thought to see so many obese people in the future. Just imagine the implications this will have onto our health system?

    We need more healthy activities, media coverage and restaurants that go the alternative way to help educate the masses.

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