NUTRITION CORNER: Infants are not exempt from obesity epidemic

Most people understand that children are part of the obesity epidemic. However, a revealing new study finds that obesity might begin in babies as young as nine months old.

“With the consistent evidence that the percent of overweight children has steadily increased over the past decade, we weren’t surprised by the prevalence rates we found in our study, but we were surprised the trend began at such a young age,” said US Researcher Brian Moss of the Wayne State University in Detroit.

The study also found that children who were Hispanic and from lower-income families were at greater risk of being obese than white children, while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders had lower risk. Female children were at lower risk for obesity than males.

US childhood obesity expert Joyce Lee confirmed that obesity is indeed becoming a problem in increasingly younger children.

“At younger ages, it is critical for parents to watch their child’s nutritional intake as this will be the main determinant of their weight status,” Lee said. “There is no approved ‘diet’ for children that young, so parents should communicate with their child’s health care provider about healthy ways to feed their child.”#