Many Babies, Toddlers Obese or at Risk of Being So

About a third of 9-month-olds, 2-year-olds in U.S. fall into this category

TUESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, a substantial proportion of children between the ages of 9 months and 2 years are obese or at risk of being so, according to research published in the January/February issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Brian G. Moss, Ph.D., of Wayne State University in Detroit, and William H. Yeaton, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, used 9-month-old and 2-year-old Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort waves to generate nationally representative estimates of obese and at-risk children born in 2001.

The investigators found that 31.9 percent of U.S. children were either at-risk or obese at 9 months and 34.3 percent were so at 2 years. The investigators also found that slightly more than 20 percent of U.S. children were obese by 2 years of age. While females and Asian/Pacific Islanders were at a lower risk, Hispanics and low socioeconomic status children were at a greater risk.

"Our findings strongly suggest no recent abatement in the risk of childhood obesity in the United States. Rather, we note a consistent pattern whereby children, starting at a very early age, follow undesirable weight trajectories," the authors write.

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