War on obesity now targeting toddlers

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health

What some parents view as "baby fat" might be considered "overweight" to a pediatricians, which is why weight management programs aimed at children as young as two years old have been developed.

In response to doctors reporting seeing patients overweight at younger and younger ages, weight management programs are springing up all over the country aimed to help toddlers and their parents learn healthy eating habits. "We used to think that chubby babies were cute and we didn't have to worry about it," says pediatrician Diane Butler. But, "this is the age at which lifestyle food choices need to be made to prevent the kid from being a chubby adult."

And the doctors aren't imaging things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates among 2- to 5-year-olds rose to 12.4% on average for the years 2003-2006, compared with 5% in 1980.

While I'm grateful these programs have been created, I'm still in shock they are needed. When I was a kid, there were two overweight kids in our entire school. Today, those kids wouldn't even be considered fat because there are several kids larger than that in every classroom. What are we doing to our kids?!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.