With obesity being so much in the center of attention now a days experts have began to ponder as to whether cute, chubby babies might actually be too fat for their own good.
There are now a very cautiously crafted message that are coming from several top health groups, like the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics as to if baby fat, which is usually a term that brings to mind images of chunky little thighs, padded puffed cheeks, might now actually have new implications.
It is not being suggested that babies now should also be put on diet, but the health experts seem to be getting more and more convinced that the future weight problems could possibly owe their roots during the early days of life. They have cautioned and advised that the baby should be monitored regularly in a more practical manner.
The health experts have in particular started discussing the growth charts that are currently being used world over for tracking the weight and height in children. Many organizations like the WHO are now promoting the need for new charts that might reflect excessive growth in babies. The U.S. government is also conferring as to whether an update of their growth charts is required and whether or not to add an obese category describing the heavier children.
It has been reported that several US studies have already showed an increases in the number of overweight children around the ages 2 and older. Dr. Cutberto Garza, provost at Boston College and co-author of a 2004 WHO study on child growth, said, "Children don't become obese overnight. It's a process." He further said, "An incredible proportion of our children is getting to kindergarten overweight, and many of us think the earlier we're able to identify a child at risk, and do it in a way that doesn't stigmatize, the better."
The biggest difficulty though, the experts feel is to predict as to what will happen to these babies in the future. This would because as it is commonly known to all parents some chubby babies and toddlers get rid of their extra padding and become children and teens while others do not.
Researchers have explained that the early feeding patterns might program a child's metabolism or other feature of body physiology to increase the chance of becoming overweight. It was reported that a study that was published last year in the British Medical Journal claimed that big babies and babies who grow quickly in the first two years of life had a nine fold increased risk of obesity in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
Dr. Matthew Gillman, an associate professor of ambulatory care and prevention at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the recent U.S. survey on infant weight, said, "It appears as though these early weeks to months may be a critical period. It may be that weight gain in this time of life is somehow more harmful."