Baby fat may make for cute little kids… but that seemingly adorable pudge can stick around for much longer than anyone would have imagined.
A new study finds that fat babies become fat kids. In fact, the British study of more than 100 obese kids with an average age of 12 years old found that 25 percent were already overweight at just six months old, and more than half were overweight by the age of 2.
By the time they reached 5, 90 percent of them were overweight, according to the study published in Clinical Pediatrics.
And all of them — every single one — were overweight by the age of 10. I’m sure that had something to do with the fact that many of the kids in the study weren’t much older than 10 to begin with, but it also shows what plenty of adults know firsthand: It’s hard to shed those pounds once they start adding up.
The researchers believe this study shows how our eating habits are set at an early age… and that makes perfect sense. We are what we eat — no matter how young we are when we start eating it.
But it’s a pretty damning indictment of parenting.
After all, no 5-year-old ever really gets to make his or her own dietary decisions. They eat what mom and dad feed them.
They’re old enough to want M&Ms and chicken nuggets, and they’ll throw big fits if they don’t get them… but at the end of the day, parents are responsible for what they feed their kids — and the consequences that come along with it.
Now, don’t panic if you’re raising a tubby toddler. And whatever you do, don’t put a baby on a diet unless your doctor orders it.
Instead, take a closer look at what you’re feeding the little tyke.
If your child is eating healthy foods and is still on the pudgy side, talk to your pediatrician. The best course of action may be nothing at all, and your child’s weight will normalize on its own over time — as long as you keep with the healthy foods.
If, on the other hand, your three-year-old already has a serious gummi bear habit and is hitting the bottle pretty hard (the juice bottle, that is), make some changes before it’s too late — no matter how big or small the kid is.
And if you’re a fat adult who was also a chubby child, don’t get carried away blaming mom. Even though this new study suggests your future may have been written at an early age, it wasn’t written in stone. If you’re old enough to make your own dinner, you’re old enough to change your habits.
Edward Martin is a health journalist who writes about today's most pressing health issues. He chronicles the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating everything from diabetes to cancer and reports on the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.