Striking Number of Obesity Risks Hit Minority Kids

CHICAGO (AP) -- New research suggests that the odds of obesity are stacked against black and Hispanic kids even before they are born.

The findings help explain disproportionately high obesity rates in minority children. The study's authors say family income is often a factor, but so are cultural customs and beliefs.

They looked at circumstances that can increase chances of obesity. These include mothers smoking during pregnancy, and eating and sleeping habits in infancy. A separate study found inflammation markers in obese children as young as 3 years old. These markers are linked with heart disease in adults. Their meaning in kids so young is uncertain. The studies are being published Monday in Pediatrics.

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