One In Five Preschoolers Is Overweight Or Obese

One in five pre-school kids in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and more must be done to help prevent them packing on the pounds, says a report published on June 23 by the Institute of Medicine.

We’ve heard the statistics about one in three children being overweight or obese, but preschoolers?

Preschoolers Aren’t Getting Enough Exercise

This is depressing news, and perhaps even more alarming is the Institute’s suggestion that children between two and five need to get at least 15 minutes of physical activity for every hour they spend in childcare.

Don’t all kids naturally want to run around and explore? How sad if today’s toddlers need to sign up for exercise class in order to stay fit.

Youngest Children At Risk Of Obesity

Here’s how the report from the Institute of Medicine opens:

Even the youngest children in the United States are at risk of becoming obese. Today, almost 10 percent of infants and toddlers carry excess weight for their length, and slightly more than 20 percent of children between the ages of two and five are already overweight or obese. Because early obesity can track into adulthood, efforts to prevent obesity should begin long before a child enters school.

A few other pointers from this report:

* Kids don’t usually outgrow their baby fat, contrary to popular belief, and better food guidelines are needed to help parents.
* Parents and caregivers need to know just how much toddlers should eat as they move from baby food to bigger-kid fare.

Dietary Guidelines For Toddlers?

From The Daily Mail:

The nation’s dietary guidelines include a special section for pre-schoolers, including information that a portion size generally is about one tablespoon of each food type per year of age.

But overall, those national guidelines are aimed at ages two and older – though surveys show even very young children eat too few of the fruits and vegetables they need.

So the institute called on the government to create consumer-friendly dietary guidelines for birth to age two.

It also sounds like it is time for some parenting education. Diet and exercise are crucial for a healthy lifestyle for adults, but may be even more important for toddlers and preschoolers. And at that age, they will eat (or not eat) whatever is put in front of them.

Let’s start taking this issue seriously.

Photo Credit: iStock

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65 comments

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgado2 years ago

Just sad. Parents need to educate themselves on nutrition and feed their children healthier foods.

Lynn D.
Lynn D.3 years ago

people need to stop awarding by giving kids food and/or bribing them with food ---If you have to use food for a result try healthy raw vegetables! Thanks for sharing with us.....sad to see so many newborn babies pudging out at 6 months of age!

Cathy P.
Cathy P.4 years ago

Most children I see live on chicken "fingers" and french fries at best. Feed your children vegetables!

jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

NEED TO WORK ON THIS

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Great article. Interesting. Thanks.

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B.4 years ago

It is the parents fault!

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez4 years ago

sad!

colleen p.
colleen p.4 years ago

are we talking about normal baby fat here, or a 3 year old that weighs 40 pounds. how much are "typcial ideal humans" supposed to weigh?
I think I was 60 something in highschool. and weigh between 85 and 95 depending on the season.(well 2 years ago, i'm 94 ATM)

so if someone says "my 7 year old is 50 pounds" I don't know if that is good or not.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams4 years ago

It might help to serve a raw green leafy salad with just a little dressing first and hope it takes the edge off appetites. More exercise would be good for all ages.