By Jenn Savedge, MNN
Should a baby be put on a diet? A new study seems to think so. In fact, a team of U.S. doctors has urged that obesity screening start in the cradle after a study showed that half of U.S. children with weight problems became overweight before age 2.
According to the study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, the “critical period for preventing childhood obesity” is “the first two years of life and for many by 3 months of age.”
How did the researchers come to these conclusions? They looked at 480 medical records for patients between the ages of 2 and 20 at two medical practices in Virginia. The intent of the study was to pinpoint the “tipping point” for weight issues in children. According to the study, the median age for when the children in the study became overweight was 22 months. One quarter of the children in the study reached their overweight “tipping point” at or before 5 months of age.
As a result, the researchers recommend that health care providers begin screening for excessive weight gain “as early as possible” to prevent childhood obesity, rather than trying to reverse a weight problem that has “spiralled out of control.”