Can a baby be overweight?

Q: Can a baby be too fat?

A: If you've got a roly-poly baby, it's natural to worry about her weight, but in most cases there's no link between the size of an infant under age 2 and the size she'll be as an adult. It's common for babies to look chubby before they start crawling, walking, and getting mobile -- they're eating and eating, and not burning off the energy! Plus, getting enough fat in the diet is crucial at this age to help your baby's brain develop properly. But after 2, the pediatrician will start calculating your child's BMI (body mass index), which is a way of assessing her weight in relation to her height. Children with BMIs in the 85th percentile or higher may need to start getting more physical activity and eating healthier foods and smaller portions. Over time, kids in this group will be more at risk for all obesity-related health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Copright 2009 Meredith Corporation

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