Overweight Infants and Young Children

Even though some of the cutest looking babies look like giant marshmellows, it can be very unhealthy for the infant. An overweight baby is characterized by “…[gaining] weight far out of proportion to his growth in height”(Schmitt).  Giving a crying baby a bottle can be an easy way to calm them, but pediatricians encourage parents not to overfeed their infants.  After birth until two months doctors recommend feeding the baby every two hours, and every three hours until the age of six months.

As obesity in the U.S. increases for adults, so does obesity in children.  According to our book, ten percent of adolescents in the United States are obese.  Heredity cannot predict obesity but children of overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves.  Causes of childhood obesity are similar to those of the causes for adulthood obesity.  The causes include eating foods that are too high in fat and having a sedentary lifestyle.  Families with low-incomes are more at risk to be overweight also because they generally have less knowledge about healthy choices and buy low-cost high-fat food (Our text book).  Another interesting fact from our book is that children who don’t get enough sleep at night tend to be overweight because they do not have the energy to engage in activities that are beneficial to their health.

Unfortunately overweight children are likely to become overweight children.  However with early interventions it is possible to fight.  Since children are generally not responsible for the food the are given the parents also need to be educated on more healthy ways of living.  Family based changes and education give overweight children the best chance.

Tracy Hubertz

Tackling Overfeeding in Infants. Rachel Burkett. http://www.associatedcontent.com


~ by tracyhubertz on September 20, 2009.

4 Responses to “Overweight Infants and Young Children”

  1. I like the post, it’s very informative. As cute as it is to see those babies that look like giant marshmallows, obesity is definitely a major problem in the United States. I agree with you on your thoughts on more education for parents. I think sometimes parents just don’t know.

    Ryan Van Wagenen

  2. Although I agree that American parents should be more mindful of family food choices in an effort to prevent adolescent obesity, I find it considerably difficult to believe that low income families are ‘generally less knowledgeable’ about healthy choices. I’m sure such information is available to all families, thus we all need to make healthier choices.

    Kellie Gibson

  3. I think this issue is very relevant. It is important to not overfeed children, to the point that their BMI is too high. It also important to note that infants should not be restricted food. They can be chubby babies and thin out later… Food isn’t the answer for all their crying, but it’s not a good idea to put a baby on a diet.
    Rebekah Pinegar

  4. The amount of overweight children in the United States who tripled from 1967 to 2001. There are now more than 9 million overweight children. This dramatic increase has caused a large number of kids to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as “adult-onset diabetes”, it used to transpire more frequently in adults. More and more children are being diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol as well. These diagnoses mean that these children are at a high risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is the nation’s number one cause of death.

    Katie Hasiak


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