Being Overweight in Early Childhood Increases Risk of Obesity at 12
Children who are overweight as toddlers or preschoolers are more likely to be overweight or obese in early adolescence.
Schmalfeldt: Children who are overweight as toddlers or preschoolers are more likely to be overweight or obese in early adolescence. That's the gist of a report released by researchers in a collaborative study by the National Institutes of Health and several academic institutions. The analysis was conducted on data collected as part of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's "Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development." Dr. James Griffin is an NICHD science officer with the study. He said the study points to a need to maintain a healthy weight in early childhood.
Griffin: We're not talking about causality here. So, in other words, we're not saying "this is genetics" or "it's the environment" or "it's the parents". All we are saying, though, is is an area where - with a pediatrician - that they can intervene with nutrition, with increased exercise. We're not talking about putting these children on a diet. We are saying "look at their diet" and, you know, maybe do things like maybe reduce the amounts of sodas and sugars and things of that nature. Increase more fruits and vegetables, and - again - get them out from in front of the TV and the video game and get them out exercising.
Schmalfeldt: Unlike earlier studies, this one calculated a child's Body Mass Index, or BMI. That's a standard measure calculated from an individual's high and weight. Kids were deemed "overweight" if their BMI was at or above the 85th percentile in comparison to national statistics for children their age. The studyauthors found that no children in the study who were below the 50th percentile at preschool or elementary school age were overweight at age 12. You can read more at the website www.nichd.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. James Griffin
Topic: Obesity, Child Care