Friday, August 14, 2009
Medical Reports: Childhood Obesity
We've all heard about how fat America is getting. Now doctors are saying how we feed our babies from day one may be to blame. Seven's Diana Diaz has more in tonight's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Kathy Magallanes is learning the ropes of motherhood for a second time.
Kathy Magallanes: "It's been a long time since I've been responsible for a little bitty baby, and I know things have changed."
She's raising her granddaughter and whenever Macie cries...
Kathy Magallanes: "Oh, that baby's hungry. I don't want her to be hungry and I'll give her a bottle."
But doctors say put down that bottle.
Dr.Russell Rothman: "If you constantly feed babies when they're young, they actually lose their ability to sense fullness. They may become more likely to be an overeater as they get older."
The statistics are staggering. More than half a million four-year-olds are obese. In fact, what baby weighs at two can predict how much weight they'll gain later, and from a young age many American babies just aren't eating right.
Dr.Russell Rothman: "The most common vegetable for the toddler is currently the French fry."
But there are some easy guidelines to follow. Babies don't need juice. If you give it to them, dilute it. As for solids, cut down on crackers and cookies, and parents look for signs your baby is full. She may keep her mouth closed, push the bottle away or start falling asleep.
Dr.Russell Rothman: "Try to recognize what is their hungry cry versus when they're really crying because they're wet or for some other reason."
Kathy Magallanes: "You want to try to walk a little bit?"
And help your child get exercise even babies can exercise, it's called tummy time
Dr.Russell Rothman: "Learning to push themselves up. Learning to crawl and really get more mobile even at a young age."
Kathy is already working to change her habits.
Kathy Magallanes: "My family we have a lot of diabetes, and he said we got to watch that, and we don't want to feed her too much."
Experts say if your infant is overweight, talk to your doctor about ways to get him or her back on track.
Diana Diaz: "Overweight children aren't just a problem in the U.S., according to a recent report, nearly half of the children in north and south America will be overweight by next year."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center