Navigation Links
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend

As infant weights rise, parents are urged to take steps early to prevent obesity

SUNDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight children, teenagers and adults aren't the only Americans with a weight problem these days. The trend toward bigger and bigger babies is drawing concern from health experts as well.

Today, American infants up to 6 months of age are 59 percent more likely to be overweight than were babies born 20 years ago, a recent study found.

And though chubby babies might be viewed as cute and healthy, parents need to think about preventing obesity at the earliest stages of life, health experts are warning. That means paying attention not only to infant weights, but also to a mother's weight before conception and her weight gain during pregnancy.

"A mother's weight gain during pregnancy, particularly gaining more than is recommended, is associated with an increased likelihood of childhood obesity," said Dr. Christine M. Olson, professor of community nutrition at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y.

Olson's own research found that to be true. She followed 208 mother-child pairs and found that excess weight gained during pregnancy -- meaning more than 25 to 35 pounds for a woman who began pregnancy at a normal weight -- increased the risk of her child being overweight at 3 years of age. She defined overweight at age 3 as weighing more than 85 percent of children at that age.

About 40 percent of the children born to mothers who were overweight or obese in early pregnancy were overweight by age 3, whereas just 24 percent of those born to mothers whose pregnancy weight was normal or below normal were overweight by age 3.

The impact was greater among women who were overweight or obese before they became pregnant.

The associations ring true, said Dr. Frank R. Greer, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and chairman of the nutrition committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Certainly, overweight mothers are at risk for having overweight infants," he said. "Mothers who have gestational diabetes [diagnosed during pregnancy] are also at greater risk." And if the child's father is overweight, he said, that can also help predict whether the baby will be overweight.

But, Greer added, it's not a simple issue.

"Predicting obesity in the first year of life is problematic," Greer said. "Obviously, you can pick out the infants at risk by looking at their birth weight and looking at their parents. However, pediatricians are reluctant to do this at the well-baby visit before the infant is approaching the 85th percentile for weight," generally considered the threshold for being classified as overweight.

What to do? Greer and Olson have a number of suggestions.

Besides getting down to a healthy weight before becoming pregnant, women should follow the weight-gain guidelines during pregnancy, they said. That means 25 to 35 pounds for normal-weight women, more for underweight and less for overweight. Ask your doctor what's best for you.

Only about 40 percent of women stay within the recommended weight-gain guidelines, Olson has found.

Breast-feeding for the first four to six months can help reduce the chances that a child will become overweight, Olson and Greer agreed. But exclusive breast-feeding for that long can be a challenge, Olson said, especially if a woman is returning to work.

Olson advised women to research their rights. A New York law, for instance, mandates breaks during work for women to pump milk, Olson said. Breast-feeding mothers might also want to ask their supervisors for support and input on how to better mesh breast-feeding and working.

More information

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has more on nutrition during pregnancy.

SOURCES: Christine M. Olson, Ph.D., professor of community nutrition, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; Frank R. Greer, M.D., professor of pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisc., and chairman, committee on nutrition, American Academy of Pediatrics

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Monkey Moms Use Baby Talk, Too
2. Nicotine in Breast Milk Shortens Babys Naptime
3. New Fish Advice Throws Baby Out With the Bath Water, Says Mercury Watchdog Group
4. As Cold & Flu Season Nears, New Baby Nasal Aspirator Offers Safe and Effective Alternative to FDA-Discouraged Medicines
5. Thyroid Test Wont Help Pregnant Mom, Baby
6. Every Baby Has a Story Campaign Tours the Nation for March of Dimes
7. Scrapblog(TM) Teams with March of Dimes to Tell Every Babys Story
8. Photo: Introducing a New Line of Baby and Toddler Shirts that Can Help Protect Innocent Babies During Flu Season
9. Marteks lifesDHA(TM) Featured in New Beech-Nut(R) DHA Plus Baby Food and Cereals
10. Forget the Old Stereotypes - New Survey Reveals that Baby Boomers Are Feeling More Young and Active than Ever!
11. Crib Bumper Pads Too Risky for Baby
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., ... the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by ... through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of ... server to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is ... the system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many key ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... preparing the perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the ... a dish to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... offering factory direct sauna parts and accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve the ... bather’s style and personality. From basic styles for the purist looking for simplicity ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, LLC filed a class and collective ... home health care worker who provided companionship services for the elderly, ill or disabled ... Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge Family Companies (CT), Inc. since January ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced ... the United States (U.S.) Food ... candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes this ... the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission using ... , M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, the jury ... Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and misrepresentation ... device, awarded $11 million in favor of Plaintiff ... three days of deliberations, the jury found that ... and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright Medical made ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... the New York State Attorney General,s ... Sherman Act, and other statutes with the Attorney General over ... to cease marketing and selling the now generic version of ... admits no liability, has released its counterclaims against ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: