Childhood obesity odds doubled in larger babies

The US study of more than 44,000 babies making “well child” visits to doctors – more than half of them white – found those who climbed over two percentiles before the age of six months, or were already in a high percentile at their first visit, had the greatest risk of later obesity.

Children who were overweight at any time in the first two years of life were more likely to be obese in later childhood.

Obesity, defined as BMI at or above the 95th percentile for age and sex, accounted for 11.6% of the children aged five years and 16.1% at age 10 years.

“We shouldn’t neglect these early gains and think that it’s just baby fat, and that these children are going to grow out of it,” lead researcher Dr Elsie Taveras, from the Children’s Hospital, Boston, said.

Meanwhile, Perth paediatricians Dr Shripada Rao and Dr Karen Simmer are calling for more debate to encourage Australia to adopt the

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