Everyone loves a baby with chubby cheeks.. I mean isn’t that one of the measures of cuteness when you are a baby… “oh look at those chubby cheeks”. Personally I always thought the chubby cheeks meant the baby is eating plenty, therefore is getting plenty of nutrients so Chubby Cheeks = Healthy Baby. Well not so much!
Like children and teenagers, babies and toddlers have been getting fatter. One in 10 children under age 2 are overweight. The percentage of children ages 2 to 5 who are obese increased to 12.4 percent in 2006 from 5 percent in 1980. Yet most prevention programs have shied away from intervening at very young ages, partly because the school system offers an efficient way to reach large numbers of children, and partly because the rate of obese teenagers is even higher than that of younger children — 18 percent.
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.
Among the findings are these:
- The chubby cherub-like baby who is growing so nicely may be growing too much for his or her own good, research suggests.
- Babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are at risk of becoming obese, even though the babies are usually small at birth.
- Babies who sleep less than 12 hours are at increased risk for obesity later. If they don’t sleep enough and also watch two hours or more of TV a day, they are at even greater risk.
So what can you do to decrease these odds for your baby? The article suggests;
Doctors recommend that overweight women lose weight before pregnancy rather than after, to cut the risk of obesity and diabetes in their children; breast-feeding is also recommended to lower the obesity risk.