Second on Our List of Online Alerts to Health Hazards of Children

Fête de Saint-Nicolas à la crèche
Creative Commons License photo credit: Spigoo

Second Alert

2. Babies who gained weight quickly by six months had a greater risk of obesity at age three than smaller babies. Based on this new finding from a Harvard Medical School study, mothers are given the following advice from health experts:

  • Not all big babies are at risk.
  • Some other factors contributing to  greater weight gain for babies: a mother’s BMI (body-mass index) before pregnancy, excess weight gain during pregnancy, the presence of high-risk conditions like pregnancy-related diabetes or hypertension.
  • Start early teaching good habits such as “babies eat when they’re hungry, stop when they’re full, and get enough physical activity. Babies are often the best judge of when they’ve had enough, so don’t force them to take in more food.”
  • Living Well expert Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician, says,  “babies gauge their fullness by volume, and if you’re mixing in solid foods with the liquid (formula or breast milk), you’re making the same volume of milk more caloric.”
  • For physical activity, “you can put your child on her tummy to give her the chance to practice rolling over. Also, give your child as much time to run around and play as possible — this is a child’s form of exercise”, says Dr. Shu.