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I'm pregnant and have a family history of obesity. How can I prevent my child from becoming obese?

Related Topics: Pregnancy, Obesity, Family
 

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A.

Obesity in infancy and childhood is a leading health problem today. A report from the Institute of Medicine found that one-third of American children and youths are either obese or at risk for obesity. Over the past 30 years, the obesity rate has nearly tripled for children 2-5 years old (from 5% to 14%) and youths 12-19 years old (5% to 17%), and it has nearly quadrupled for children 6-11 years old.

We now know that infants are at greater risk for obesity if their moms gain excessive weight during pregnancy. And overweight infants are not likely to outgrow their "baby fat." They are more likely to become overweight children and adults. And all of this excess weight puts our infants, children, and adolescents at hugely greater risk for many conditions, including high blood pressure, heart and blood vessel diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

The efforts to stop this must start from the moment of conception, with better nutritional counseling for pregnant mothers, and continue with your infant's very first well-ckeckup. Babies don't need apple juice to satisfy thirst. Good old water will do. And your doctor must carefully monitor your baby's and child's weight percentiles to let you know early on if his weight is getting out of line with his height. Early involvement in regular physical activity and limiting TV, computer, and video-game usage cannot start too soon. And get regular physical activity as a family.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Childhood Obesity: Prevention Tips