girls are more likely to become fat than boys. Mattias Karen of the Associated Press has more:Sorry ladies, but new research says
As every Western nation struggles with child obesity, the Swedes are puzzled by an unusual blip in the data: Why are little girls more likely to be fat than little boys? A recent study by researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University showed that today's 4-year-old girls were six times as likely to be obese compared to 20 years ago - a bigger jump than among boys.
"This indicates that there is a relatively recent change in our lifestyles that is behind this," said Ulf Holmback, the lead researcher for the study published in the April issue of Acta Paediatrica. "But it's difficult to say what that is."
The weight increase itself was expected - Swedes, along with most other Europeans, have been getting heavier.
But obesity experts are scratching their heads over the gender difference that emerges in obesity rates. In 1982, just 1 percent of all 4-year-olds were deemed obese. By 2002, 2 percent of the boys that age were obese, but 6 percent of the girls were. The discrepancy was similar for 10-year-olds.