Study: U.S. babies are becoming fatter

Aug 10, 2006

U.S. medical researchers have examined more than 120,000 Massachusetts children under age 6 for 22 years -- and found today's babies are fatter.

The study by Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care shows young children -- especially infants -- are more likely than children in past years to be overweight.

"The obesity epidemic has spared no age group, even our youngest children," said Dr. Matthew Gillman, senior author of the study and associate professor at Harvard.

During the 22-year study, the prevalence of overweight children increased from 6.3 percent to 10 percent -- a 59 percent jump based on weight and height measures. The proportion of children at risk of becoming overweight grew from 11.1 percent to 14.4 percent overall, a 30 percent jump.

Of all the age groups studied, infants had the greatest jump in risk of becoming overweight at 59 percent, and the number of overweight infants increased by 74 percent.

"This information is important to public health because previous studies show that accelerated weight gain in the first few months after birth is associated with obesity later in life," says Gillman.

The study is detailed in the journal Obesity.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New Canadian guideline to help prevent and manage adult obesity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama recommends extended wilderness zone in Alaska

20 hours ago

US President Barack Obama said Sunday he would recommend a large swath of Alaska be designated as wilderness, the highest level of federal protection, in a move likely to anger oil proponents.

NASA craft set to beam home close-ups of Pluto

20 hours ago

Nine years after leaving Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is at last drawing close to Pluto and on Sunday was expected to start shooting photographs of the dwarf planet.

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys

22 hours ago

The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales ...

Recommended for you

Nocturnal leg cramps more common in summer

15 minutes ago

Painful nocturnal leg cramps are about twice as common during summer than in winter, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Study finds potential new drug target for lung cancer

47 minutes ago

A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers suggests that targeting a key enzyme and its associated metabolic programming may lead to novel drug development to treat lung cancer.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.