“Severe obesity” is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more. The “overweight” category begins with a BMI of 25 and “obesity” begins at a BMI of 30.
Obese adolescents become severely obese adults.
A new study, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA November 10, 2010), followed 8,834 adolescents ages 12 to 21 who were enrolled in 1996 as part of the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
Height and weight, as well as other factors, were recorded at enrollment using standard measures. These adolescents were followed into adulthood, until the ages of 24 to 33. Seventy percent of the severely obese adolescents remained severely obese into adulthood. Over time 8% of the initially non-severely obese adolescents grew to be severely obese adults.
Adolescents who are obese were 16 times more likely to become severely obese as adults compared with normal weight adolescents.
This is a fulfillment of the sober words penned by Ellen White, a 19th century health reformer: “Many are so devoted to intemperance that they will not change their course of indulging in gluttony under any considerations. They would sooner sacrifice health, and die prematurely, than to restrain their intemperate appetite.” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, 158)
“Gluttony is the prevailing sin of this age. Lustful appetite makes slaves of men and women, and beclouds their intellect and stupefies their moral sensibilities to such a degree that the sacred, elevated truths of God’s Word are not appreciated.” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, 32)