Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Obesity May Be Predetermined in Infancy

Source: BBC News (Summary by NIM)

You may be able to blame your parents for your weight after all. According to new research, most people who are obese were considered already obese before the age of two, laying the path for future complications and poor habits. The first years of life are critical in order to ensure good future health and set good habits, as most of what we do and learn at this age stays with us for the rest of our lives.

In a new U.S. study of more than 100 obese children and teens, most of them were obese before the age of two, while a whopping 9 out of 10 of them were obese by age 5. The researchers, not surprisingly list poor diet and lack of exercise as contributing factors. In addition, early introduction of solid food may be another reason for this phenomenon. Furthermore, children's food preferences may already be 'set' by this point, so poor eating habits tend to continue on throughout life.

The study's leader says this should come as a "wake-up call" to parents and doctors, in that change needs to occur in childhood or else it may be very difficult to impose any later in the future. Furthermore, doctors should not wait until things 'get worse' to recommend dietary and lifestyle changes for children who are rapidly putting on weight.

Find out more about this study by checking out the article called "Obesity 'often set before age of two'" from BBC Health (Feb. 13, 2010).