Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media

Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Obesity Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Jul 7, 2016 - 5:36:25 PM

Obesity Starts at an Early Age

By Staff Editor
Dec 5, 2012 - 6:01:22 PM

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

( - Before allowing children to load up on sugar cookies and gingerbread men this holiday season, parents might want to think twice.

By the time children start kindergarten, 6 percent in the United States are already severely obese and on the path to a lifetime of health issues from diabetes to heart disease.

So, the tough two-part question is why are kids so heavy, and what can be done to prevent it?

"Multiple risk factors associated with obesity play a role, from the sugary drinks children consume to their bedtime habits," says Dr. Glenn Flores, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Surpassing the 85th percentile for Body Mass Index (BMI) at 9 months of age is one of the most powerful predictors of severe obesity, which is defined as being above the 99th percentile of average Americans at any given age.

The risk for obesity can start even before birth. If the mother was severely obese just before her pregnancy, it's likely her child also will face weight problems, Dr. Flores says. Being Latino or multiracial is also associated with severe obesity among kindergarteners.

Youngsters who are severely obese are at risk for high triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. They also have school absenteeism rates much higher than those of healthy-weight children, according to a study published in theJournal of the American Medical Association.

The first step to reducing the risk of obesity is screening for children who are at high risk. Starting when they are 9 months old, children's BMI and growth curve should be monitored.

Parents can also take the following steps to reduce the risk of having a severely obese child:

  • Starting at 9 months of age, take the child outside for exercise or play at least a few times a week;
  • Maintain strict bedtime rules;
  • Make sure the child eats fruit at least weekly; and
  • Avoid consuming sugary drinks.

To learn more about clinical services in pediatrics at UT Southwestern, visit .

For advertising and promotion on please contact Mike McCurdy: [email protected] or is syndicated worldwide, to thousands of journalists in all media,  and health-related websites.


Top of Page

Obesity Issues
Latest Headlines

+ Weight-Based Stigma an Obstacle to Sustaining Weight Loss
+ Inactivity, Excess Weight Linked to Hard-to-treat Heart Failures
+ Early Birds May Make Healthier Food Choices Than Night Owls
+ Dr. Yum’s Book Helps Combat Childhood Obesity
+ Overweight Affects Almost Half the Population of all Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean Except for Haiti
+ Children Gain More Weight When Parents See Them as ‘Overweight’
+ Improvement in Childhood Obesity among Young Children Enrolled in WIC
+ To Help Obese Women Exercise More, Shift Focus Away from Weight Loss
+ Childhood Obesity Increases During Summer Breaks
+ Obesity Ties Cancer As Top Health Threat, Bigger Than Heart Disease And Diabetes For Most Americans

Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions