Child Obesity Has Doubled Since 1980s
About 10 percent of children from infancy up to age two and little over 20 percent of children aged two to five are overweight or obese, according to the report.
"Contrary to the common perception that chubby babies are healthy babies and will naturally outgrow their baby fat, excess weight tends to persist," report committee chair Leann Birch, professor of human development and director in the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, said in an institute news release.
"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," Birch continued.
Recommendations included: limiting younger children's television use, requiring child-care providers to encourage healthy sleeping habits and physical activity, increasing efforts to promote breast-feeding, and requiring child-care facilities and preschools to follow the meal patterns established by the U.S. Child and Adult Care Food Program.
"Child-care 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," Birch finished.