Childhood Obesity May Start in the Womb
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Childhood Obesity May Start in the Womb

A new study points to the fact that babies who gain weight too quickly may be predisposed to obesity. Childhood obesity is at epidemic proportion, one in five American children are overweight and almost one third of Canadian children are considered obese.

Everyone loves a cuddly chubby baby. However, a new study points to the fact that babies who gain weight too quickly may be predisposed to obesity. Childhood obesity is at epidemic proportion, one in five American children are overweight and almost one third of Canadian children are considered obese.

Both countries have made efforts to curb the obesity trend by revamping school cafeteria menus, banning sugary soft drinks and junk foods in vending machines, encouraging parents to provide healthier foods and promote outdoor physical activity.

New research suggests that the school age children may not be the crucial group to target. Though these children still need proper nutrition to avoid becoming overweight researchers are suggesting that the targeted group should be toddlers and even babies still in the womb.

To date it is common knowledge that excessive weight during pregnancy is not healthy. It could lead to gestational diabetes, difficulties losing the excessive after birthing and possible type 2 diabetes somewhere down the line.

What is the affect excessive weight during pregnancy will have on the unborn child?

Dr. Glenn Berall, the chief of pediatrics at North York General Hospital in Toronto says new evidence is emerging that excessive weight can affect the environment of the womb. Overweight mother’s run the risk of having children who will become obese in later life. He says you can trace it back to pre-pregnancy weight as well.

The Harvard Medical School studied over 120, 000 babies between 1980 and 2001 and found that cases of overweight babies under the age of six months old had ballooned by 74 percent.

Another study published in the journal Pediatrics, points to the risk that overweight babies can become obese as early as three years old.

Other studies indicate that prenatal, to infancy, and up to 5 years of age is the crucial period to fight the effects of obesity upon children in their developing years. It is unclear as to why children run the risk of becoming overweight at such an early age; one theory is brain changes and/or environmental influences.

So obesity campaigns should focus on pre-pregnant women, pregnant women, infants and toddles to be able to nip the epidemic in the bud. Then it must continue throughout childhood to diminish the risks of obesity. Unfortunately, no age group can be spared and the campaign must continue and target the adult population as well.

Pregnant and new Montreal mothers can consult their pediatricians and also consult:

The Montreal Diet Dispensary for tips on good nutrition

Sources:

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Comments (4)

OMG! surely they are not going to have babies start dieting now. but seriously good information.

with babies it has always been the same, feed them vegetables and fruits not puddings and mounds of mashed potatoes etc,

You are absolutely right Carol, It is so much easier if we start eating right when we ar that young. Parents have a huge responsibility.

I always fed my son properly as a baby, I didn't want him to be fat like me

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