Start Obesity Prevention in the Cradle

According to a team of U.S. doctors, obesity screening should start in the cradle. In a recent study, the doctors found that half of the nation's children with weight problems became overweight before age two. The "critical period for preventing childhood obesity" in the children observed in the study would have been in "the first two years of life and for many by three months of age," said researchers involved in the study, which was published in Clinical Pediatrics. "Unfortunately, the chubby healthy baby myth is alive and well despite the high prevalence of childhood obesity, with only 20 percent to 50 percent of overweight children being diagnosed and even fewer receiving documented or effective treatments," the authors of the study said. Researchers looked at 480 medical records for patients between the ages of two and 20 at a private medical practice and a teaching hospital, both in Virginia. The study was conducted to try to pinpoint the "tipping point" for when a child first became overweight, researchers looked at 480 medical records for patients between the ages of two and 20 at a private medical practice and a teaching hospital, both in Virginia. Researchers recommend that health care providers begin screening for excessive weight gain "as early as possible" in order to prevent childhood obesity, rather than trying to reverse it once a weight problem as "spiralled out of control."

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