IOM urges attention to obesity in infants and young children


"Contrary to the common perception that chubby babies are healthy babies and will naturally outgrow their baby fat, excess weight tends to persist," committee chair Leann Birch said in a statement. "This is a national concern because weight-related conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure once occurred almost exclusively in adults but are now occurring at rising rates among teens and young adults. Childcare providers, health professionals, and policymakers can be helpful partners to parents in reducing obesity risk by creating healthy environments and implementing positive practices during the crucial early years of development."

The report's recommendations are aimed at policymakers and healthcare and childcare workers. It also points out the roles played by childcare centers, preschools, pediatricians' offices, federal nutrition programs and other facilities and programs that shape children's activities and behaviors.