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Today's babies are fatter babies

more heavy infants today than we did 20 years ago, this study illustrates the usefulness of routinely collected information from doctors' offices to address a key public health issue," says Juhee Kim, PhD, first author of the study. Kim performed this research at DACP while she was a research fellow in the Public Health Nutrition Program at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Gillman and colleagues collected data from well-child visits among more than 120,000 children younger than 6 years old at 14 Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates practices in eastern Massachusetts from 1980 through 2001. All of the children were enrolled in an HMO, which, throughout the study, used a completely electronic medical record system that contained demographic and growth data for the children.

"These results show that efforts to prevent obesity must start at the earliest stages of human development, even before birth," says Gillman. "These efforts should include avoiding smoking and excessive weight gain during pregnancy, preventing gestational diabetes, and promoting breastfeeding, all of which researchers have shown to be associated with reductions in childhood overweight."


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Source:Harvard Medical School


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