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Policies that promote healthy eating, activity and sleep are needed to curb obesity in infants, toddlers and preschoolers
Date:6/23/2011

vities, and getting children outdoors to play when and where possible. They also could avoid using restriction of play as a disciplinary measure. Infants should be allowed to move freely with appropriate supervision. Potential steps to achieve this goal include using cribs, car seats, and high chairs only for their intended purposes and limiting use of strollers, swings, and bouncing chairs.

Child care providers should also limit television viewing and use of computers, mobile devices, and other digital technologies to less than two hours per day for children ages 2 to 5, the report adds. Child care facilities and preschools could advance this goal by restricting screen time of any form to 30 minutes in half-day programs and one hour in full-day programs. Health care providers could counsel parents on the benefits of restricting screen time. The appropriate federal agencies -- including the Federal Trade Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- will need to monitor industry compliance with voluntary national nutrition and marketing standards for children, which are currently being developed by an interagency task force.

Healthy Eating

Given that only 13 percent of mothers breast-feed exclusively for six months after birth, and only 22 percent continue breast-feeding up to a year, health care providers and organizations should step up efforts to encourage breast-feeding, the report says. A potential way to achieve this goal is all hospitals adopting the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, which limit samples and depictions of formula and help mothers initiate and continue breast-feeding.

All child care facilities and preschools should be required to follow the meal patterns established by the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which reflect age-appropriate amounts of sugar, salt, and f
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Contact: Christine Stencel
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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