Paediatric care must deal with children's emotional difficulties in order to prevent them becoming obese when they are older, according to a new study.
Research at King's College London showed that children that suffer from low self-esteem or other emotional challenges are more likely to become overweight when they are adults.
In the report, the authors state that there is an obesity epidemic in western society and they hope this study can help people to understand and control it.
The study was carried out by using records of children who at the age of ten had been assessed for emotional problems, then checking their BMI at 30 years old.
Andrew Termouth, one of the authors, said: "While we cannot say that childhood emotional problems cause obesity in later life, we can certainly say they play a role."
Recent research carried out by Dr Fred Turek at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology suggests that eating at irregular times such as in the middle of the night can lead to weight gain.