Smart Woman: Risk Factors For Obesity Develop In Early Childhood

Published 01/31 2014 05:24PM

Updated 01/31 2014 06:43PM

More than one third of American children are overweight or obese. According to a new study, signs of this health problem can be detected earlier than some may think.

Researchers at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health followed nearly 8,000 children. Almost half of the children were obese by 14, were already overweight when they were 5 years old. The study also found that infants born large are at the highest risk of becoming obese by high school.

Dr. Dyan Hes, says taking simple healthier steps when children are small is key to preventing obesity.

"It's so easy to cut calories just by stopping juice in a child's diet, giving low fat milk after two instead of whole milk, getting your kids active. Children should have one hour of physical activity a day" Hes said.

Parents who are concerned about their child's weight should consult with their pediatrician.

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