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originally posted in:Secular Sevens
6/25/2013 5:22:59 AM

Disturbing link between childhood trauma and adult obesity

[url][/url] This is a very long article detailing what's called the ACE study which uncovered a previously unknown trend regarding children who were victims of sexual abuse who later became obese as adults and had great difficulty keeping the weight off. The following is a brief summary of the entire article, although it's worth reading the entire thing. [b]Part 1 [/b] [quote]In 1985, however, all that Felitti knew was that the obesity clinic had a serious problem. He decided to dig deep into the dropouts' medical records. This revealed a couple of surprises: All the dropouts had been born at a normal weight. They didn't gain weight slowly over several years.[/quote] [quote]Of the 286 people whom Felitti and his colleagues interviewed, most had been sexually abused as children. As startling as this was, it turned out to be less significant than another piece of the puzzle that dropped into place during an interview with a woman who had been -blam!- when she was 23 years old. In the year after the attack, she told Felitti that she'd gained 105 pounds.[/quote] [b]Part 2[/b] [quote]The first shocker: There was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as mental illness, doing time in prison, and work issues, such as absenteeism.[/quote] [quote]The second shocker: About two-thirds of the adults in the study had experienced one or more types of adverse childhood experiences. Of those, 87 percent had experienced 2 or more types. This showed that people who had an alcoholic father, for example, were likely to have also experienced physical abuse or verbal abuse. In other words, ACEs usually didn't happen in isolation.[/quote] [quote]The third shocker: More adverse childhood experiences resulted in a higher risk of medical, mental and social problems as an adult.[/quote] [b]Part 3 [/b] [quote]Together, the two discoveries - the epidemiology of the ACE Study and the brain research -- reveal a story too compelling to ignore: Children with toxic stress live much of their lives in fight, flight or fright (freeze) mode. They respond to the world as a place of constant danger. With their brains overloaded with stress hormones and unable to function appropriately, they can't focus on learning. They fall behind in school or fail to develop healthy relationships with peers or create problems with teachers and principals because they are unable to trust adults. Some kids do all three. With despair, guilt and frustration pecking away at their psyches, they often find solace in food, alcohol, tobacco, methamphetamine, inappropriate sex, high-risk sports, and/or work and over-achievement.[/quote]

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