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Childhood Obesity Detected in Infants

Do Chubby Babies Turn Into Obese Adults?

Roly-poly babies may be fun to tickle and pinch, but how healthy are they? As the White House tries to focus attention on our childhood obesity epidemic, new evidence suggests that we should take a look at the nation's youngest tots, in addition to those who are already in school.

The Science section of today's New York Times, features an article that suggests childhood obesity can be detected as early as infancy. While much attention is paid to the diet and activity levels of school-aged kids, one in 10 children under two-years-old is overweight. According to the author:

More and more evidence points to pivotal events very early in life — during the toddler years, infancy and even before birth, in the womb — that can set young children on an obesity trajectory that is hard to alter by the time they’re in kindergarten. The evidence is not ironclad, but it suggests that prevention efforts should start very early.

The author goes on to show that losing weight prior to pregnancy, early diagnosis of gestational diabetes, eliminating smoking during pregnancy, increasing the number of hours a newborn sleeps each night and breastfeeding can all help reduce the risk of obesity.

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Join The Conversation
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 5 years
I worry about this. My daughter is big for her age, a 39", 37lb. three-year-old. Everyone on her dad's side of the family is overweight. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I've been cleaning up my act with regard to food and exercise. If I would have read this article when my daughter was a baby, especially those notes about making a newborn sleep more (what? people can DO that?) and breastfeeding (we only lasted three months), I'd have been wracked with guilt. Now that she's a little older and I feel like I sort of have the hang of this "mom" thing, though, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing: Whole grains, lots of produce, and lots of walks around the zoo and to the park.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Prevention should start early, no matter what this study says.
KrisB KrisB 5 years
I was a chubby baby but was never an over weight child or adult.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 5 years
Nope. I was a very chubby baby. My mom said I was even too big to crawl around (is that even possible?). But I'm a healthy weight now.
MissSushi MissSushi 5 years
I think its absolute bullshit, myself. What exactly are they suggesting? There is already way too much stigma on percentages and weight regarding babies as it is, now if your infant starts to put on pudge you need to start cutting back on the formula? Ridiculous.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
Okay, obviously my anecdotes are not peer reviewed and published, but I know of several fat little babies that turned into normal sized, healthy adults. And in the womb? Really? They use the word WOMB? If it's a scientific article, it should say uterus.
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