home
RSS
February 16th, 2010
10:13 AM ET

When is your chubby baby too chubby?

By Caitlin Hagan
CNN Medical Associate Producer

A new study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics has concluded that "the critical period for preventing childhood obesity...is during the first two years of a child's life and for many by three months of age." It's the first study to identify a so-called "tipping point" in a child's development of obesity. This new finding comes as first lady Michelle Obama is targeting childhood obesity in a new national initiative Let's Move.

"We've been struggling with the older kids, ages 6 to 8, who are already way overweight," says Dr. John W. Harrington of Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. "And at that age, it's too difficult to change eating habits."

Harrington and his team set out to determine the point at which a child's weight gain becomes unhealthy and leads to overweight.

"We backtracked and said, 'When did this weight first happen?'" says Harrington. "Since the age of 3 or 4 months, these children were overweight as babies...they had normal growth but their weights were averaging well above their heights."

By identifying when the weight gain first develops, Harrington believes pediatricians will be able to intervene early to change poor eating habits in babies and toddlers on track to becoming overweight.

But the study doesn't change the old adage that a chubby baby is still a healthy baby, especially since babies need extra fat for brain, eye, and nerve development. But Harrington argues that babies need less fat in their diets than was once thought.

"Parents feel the need to feed the child; feed them, feed them, feed them" says Harrington. "But they're not watching what the child is doing."

The key for parents is to pay attention to simple cues to ensure that they're not overfeeding their baby. For example, when a baby stops suckling while being breastfed or pulls his face away from his bottle, he may be too full to want more formula even if he's had only half of his usual serving.

Another cue is to watch how frequently your baby drools while feeding. Drooling from the side of his mouth could signal he's eaten enough.

"Your baby can control their eating habits" says Harrington. "And if you allow them to do that, they can control what they take in."

Harrington suggests a feeding schedule of 2 to 3 ounces per feeding during the first few weeks of your baby's life. That should increase to 5 to 6 ounces per feeding by your baby's 6-month mark. But he also cautions that all parents should consult with their peditrician about any concerns they have about feeding practices or their baby's weight.

Do you worry about your baby's weight? How often are you feeding your child?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


soundoff (1,316 Responses)
  1. CharlesEloff

    buy viagra online with no prescription erectile dysfunction drugs cheapest cialis generic online canada pharmacy online global pharmacy canada phone number buy clomiphene citrate canadian pharmacy no prescription pacific care pharmacy vanuatu canadian pharmacy price of viagra 100mg walmart

    May 18, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. EdwardSwogy

    ed drugs canada pharmacies online prescriptions canada pharmacies online prescriptions buy cheap cialis discount online North West Pharmacy healthymale viagra 100 mg best price Canadian Health and Care Mall Reviews Rhine Inc Pharmacy rhine inc palghar india

    May 18, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JesusLag

    rhine inc india

    May 18, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. CharlesGlalf

    online pharmacy pharmacy on line

    May 18, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MatthewWar

    [url=http://onlineviagraprescription.com/]viagra no prior prescription[/url]

    May 18, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. CharlesEloff

    viagra online without prescription generic erectile dysfunction pills cheapest cialis is canadian health care mall legitimate canadian online pharmacies where can i buy clomid over the counter canadian pharmacy no prescription pacific care canada north american pharmacy best place to get viagra

    May 18, 2021 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. jKIEqGiHna

    pay for java homework community service essay outline help with scholarship essays need help with writing a business plan

    May 18, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ThomasBot

    viagra from usa pharmacy

    May 18, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Leave a Reply to Tanxod


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.