To Your Health
October, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 10)
Never Too Young to Start Living Healthy
By Editorial Staff
We've seen it all over the news - an epidemic rise in rates of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in the past several decades. Clearly, the solution to preventing obesity and related health conditions is helping kids to lead a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. The question remains, however, when to start them on this lifelong journey of wellness.
A group of researchers from Virginia believes the "tipping point" for childhood obesity may begin as early as age 2. The study looked at the records of 111 overweight children (average age 12), who had their height and weight measured at least five times during various pediatric visits. They found that those children who were classified as obese (body mass index greater than 85 percent of the general population) had actually started gaining weight in infancy, starting at as young as 3 months of age. Furthermore, more than half the children could be categorized as obese by their second birthday and, even more alarming, 80 percent could be classified as such by their fifth birthday.
The researchers admitted to being very surprised by these findings, stating that they had not thought obesity could actually start that early in life. According to one, "This study suggests that doctors may want to start reviewing the diet of children during early well-child visits. By the time they reach eight years old, they're already far into the overweight category, making treatment more difficult."
So remember, it's never too soon to teach your children the value of healthy habits. In fact, it's one of your responsibilities as a parent. So start today!