Obesity Predicted in InfantsPosted: Jan 17 in Bounce by
Studies of infants have now shown that it is possible to predict a predisposition toward obesity as early as the first few months after birth. In the first six months of age, babies often grow more exponentially than ever in life. Some babies, however, add more weight than others even when the birth weight was about the same. Those children who move into the higher weight percentile are more likely to become overweight later in life than children who stay in the mid to lower on the weight percentile during those first six months. In other words, the rate of weight gain can predict the persistence of obesity for that child.
Understanding the Data
Birth weight isn’t the main contributing factor when considering the disposition toward becoming overweight later in life, but rather the amount of weight gained during the first months of life. Infants who passed more than two percentage rates on the weight and height chart were the most likely to be obese at later checkups. For instance, a baby who began on the fiftieth percentile for weight who was at the fifty-third percentile at their next checkup were at a greater risk for becoming overweight or obese later in life.
Early prevention and medical weight loss interventions during childhood can reduce the likelihood of obesity in adulthood. Rather than dieting, which can actually prompt rapid weight gain, babies and children should be given plenty of time to exercise. For young babies, crawling and exploring the environment is the best way to ensure calories are being used to maintain weight.
Babies grow rapidly, and have individual needs based on their growth rates. Prevention is often key, but caution should be exercised to make sure babies aren’t being deprived of the nutrients needed to maintain healthy growth. For older children, practicing a healthy diet and exercise routine can also be vital to maintaining a healthy weight.