That baby fat your child is toting around could signal obesity. Scientists have found that the majority of weight gain happens before kiddies even hit the school trail.
This finding is raising doubts over UK government policies that target fatter children only when they start their school years. The researchers have asked for new policies to target children in pre-school who are overweight.
In England about a quarter of kids aged four to five are overweight. Of those children about 10 per cent are considered obese, which is a medical danger.
Experts blame the standard diet in England for the vast numbers of fat children. Diets high in salt, fat, sugar and easy to prepare processed foods added with unhealthy eating habits of parents are to blame.
The journal Paediatrics published the recent findings from the EarlyBird study of 233 children from birth to puberty. Those findings were presented Wednesday to ministers.
The average weight of a newborn in the UK is much the same as 25 years ago. That can not be said of the average weight of children hitting puberty. Most of the additional weight was put on before the age of five. Birth weight is not an indicator of what a child will weigh at 9 but the weight at the age of five is.
The Daily Mail reports:
Lead researcher Professor Terry Wilkin, of Plymouth’s Peninsula Medical School, said: ‘When they reach five, the die seems to be cast, at least until the age of puberty.’
The good news is that obesity can be treated fairly quickly. It’s one of the few serious medical problems that can.
The Department of Health said: ‘We have made obesity prevention, nutrition and physical activity a priority in the updated Child Health Promotion Programme.
‘In addition, the Healthy Start scheme provides vouchers to put towards the cost of milk, fresh fruit and vegetables or infant formula to around half a million pregnant women and children under four in low income and disadvantaged families.’