Obese babies - really?
Obese babies are on the rise says pediatrician at Harvard Medical School. But how do you know if your obese baby is just a fat baby or whether it's one of the baby obesity statistics that you need to be concerned about? How do we know when a fat baby needs to be acted on?
The fattest babies
Macrosomia is a term used about a birthweight that is above the upper limits of an average. And the average birthweight for a newborn is somewhere between 6 pounds (2 700 grams) and 9 pounds (4000 grams).
Anna Bates, a Canadian who along with her baby's father had giantism - she herself was 7ft 5.5 in (2.27 m) tall, gave birth to a boy weighing 23 lb 12 oz (10.8 kg) who was also much taller than the average newborn at 30 inches long (76 cm) (30 in). She gave birth to her son when she was living in Ohio, USA. The baby was born on January 19, 1879, but died 11 hours later.
The heaviest baby born to a normal-sized mother was a son weighing in at 22 lb 8 oz (10.2 kg) who was born to Carmelina Fedele at Aversa, Italy in September 1955. A 33-year-old schoolmistress in Crewe, Cheshire, UK on November 12, 1884 had a son with a reported birthweight in excess of 20 lb (9 kg) is 9.13 kg.
Causes of baby obesity
Dr Raylene Reiner, an epigenetic researcher at the University of Calgary says that our pre-natal and early childhood environment influences our changes of our child developing all the same lifestyle diseases as adults do: heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
As I show in my book Get your Child Eating Healthy the 'Easy Peasy' Way, based on studies done by Dr. Bruce Lipton about genes, the best predictor of a child's eating and weight depends less on our genes and much more on the environment they are exposed to in their 'class womb' and the family habits they are born into. The lifestyle of the parents they are born into are what they will most likely be exposed to on a repetitive basis.
Matthew Gillman, the pediatrician I referred to from the Harvard School of Medicine who has been following the birthweights of children for 22 years says that his data suggests that the percentage of the fat babies (those in the top 2% of the birthweight range) is getting higher with each generation of babies. Baby obesity is basically on the rise and your chances of producing an obese baby are increasing.
What he found about the causes of this upward trend may surprise you. He found that babies who sleep less than 11 hours compared to those who slept for 13 hours were more likely to be obese babies. Research with adults confirms that a lack of sleep is a route to obesity.His research also confirms other research that shows that mother's who smoke produce children who one day are more likely to diet of lung cancer. They are also likely to produce very low weight babies who then experience an accelerated weight catch-up and researchers think it's this kind of fast weight gain that is problematic from a health point of view.How you eat during pregnancy is already pre-programing your baby's food preferences. So take a look at your pregnancy diet...are you scoffing down donuts, washed down with soda's? Are you a junk food junkie - indulging in fatty fast foods? If you are, don't be at all surprised if that is what your fat baby prefers one day.Other research has also shown that chemicals from food packaging including the plastics baby bottles are made from can cause obesity as well.
It seems there are many causes of fat babies and so the fact that baby obesity is on the rise shouldn't surprise us. I've also read that diabetic mothers are the most likely to produce obese babies and given the alarming increase of obesity, this will also contribute to the obese baby syndrome.
What not to do with an obese baby
Babies carry that cute dimply baby fat until about 3 or 4 years of age, DO NOT PUT YOUR BABY ON A DIET - EVER. Babies need good quality calories and fat to develop healthy bodies and healthy brains. Always consult a pediatrician. Often what is more important is that the child has a steady weight rate than a very accelerated one. And remember that if we had to plot a child's growth, it would look like a fir tree. They often have a fat spurt before shooting up into their weight. Return from Obese Babies to Children Eating Healthy
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