Mon., June 24, 2013 5:00am (EDT)

Key Factors In Adolescent Obesity
By Pat Marcus
Updated: 1 year ago

ATLANTA, Ga.  —  
New research published in UGA’s Journal of Adolescent Health says a combination of two factors increase the risk of obesity in teens:  genetics and community adversity. (Photo courtesy:  Paul H. via flickr)
New research published in UGA’s Journal of Adolescent Health says a combination of two factors increase the risk of obesity in teens: genetics and community adversity. (Photo courtesy: Paul H. via flickr)
It’s official. Obesity is a disease. At least that’s what the American Medical Association decided last week. But in spite of the AMA’s ruling, there’s still some discomfort about the disease label. And, along with it, a continuing desire to better understand contributing factors.

Researchers at the University of Georgia have been looking closely at teenage obesity. New research published in UGA’s Journal of Adolescent Health says a combination of two factors increase the risk of obesity in teens: genetic sensitivity and community adversity.

According the study, researchers examined more than 14,000 adolescents over a 13-year period to determine risk over time. The data was collected through the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Results showed people with both risk factors had a significantly higher BMI or body mass index, commonly used to measure obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 30 percent of adolescents are overweight or obese.