August 26, 2006
Do You Have a Heavy Baby?
The obesity epidemic in the United States has spread even to the youngest children.
Infants are now 59 percent more likely to be overweight than they were 20 years ago, and the number of overweight infants increased by 74 percent, the researchers found.
A study of more than 120,000 children under 6 years of age showed that the prevalence of overweight children increased by more than half in the period between 1980 and 2001.
Additionally, the proportion of children at risk of becoming overweight grew by more than a quarter.
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This research suggests that obesity prevention may need to start even before birth. Maternal body mass affects the weight of infants at birth and after. Mothers are putting on more weight during pregnancy compared with past decades, and there has also been an increase in type 2 and gestational diabetes among mothers, which also affect birth weight.
Another factor may be formula feeding, which causes faster weight gain than breast feeding.
Early weight gain can have consequences for long-term health, including increased risks of high blood pressure and asthma (and we add type 2 diabetes).
Obesity July 2006; 14(7): 1107-1112
USA Today August 10, 2006
Forbes.com August 9, 2006
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