Babies who grow bigger quickly are more likely to become obese by the time they reach five years of age compared to those who grow more slowly.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School analyzed the growth of more than 45,000 infants and children under the age of 11 years and found that those babies who reached two key points in doctors' growth charts before the age of two years were twice as more likely to be obese by the time they are 5 years old compared to other babies who grew more slowly.
Lead researcher and pediatrician Dr Elsie Taveras said that doctors and parents should be concerned if they babies reach the two key milestones quickly as it showed that the babies were being overfed or spent most of their time in cribs rather than crawling around.
"Crossing two or more percentiles in weight-for-length should trigger a discussion between parents and their pediatric providers of what's contributing to the rapid gains. Infants are different than adults, and we wouldn't put infants on a diet, but we can detect some possible early risk factors that could be targets for counseling", Dr Taveras said.