A new study suggests that it may be possible to identify the risk of obesity at an earlier age than previously believed. Infants who grow too rapidly may be at a higher risk of developing obesity later in life. Knowing this can help parents prepare by instilling proper diet and exercise habits right from the start.
The survey studied 45,000 infants and children born between 1980 and 2008. The researchers found that infants who grew more than two percentile groups on their pediatricians’ growth charts during their first two years were more likely to develop into obese children.
While this study does not recommend putting babies on a diet, the researchers did find that identifying these risk factors can help direct parents toward more healthy behaviors, including breastfeeding longer, avoiding sugary drinks, and encouraging the babies to crawl and walk more.
Obesity among children is a rapidly developing problem in the United States; the number of obese children has tripled in the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Obese children are much more likely to grow up to be obese adults, as well as developing type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, cardiovascular disease, and other dangerous conditions. If you have an obese child, don’t wait. Contact your doctor to discuss healthy weight loss in Chandler or elsewhere and discover what you can do right now to improve your child’s health.