In a recent study, babies who were large at birth had an increased likelihood of being obese when they were in kindergarten to second grade (age 5 to 8 years). At each grade level and for both preterm and term children, children who were heavy as infants remained heavier than children born at normal birthweight.
The study included 828 preterm children and 9358 term children. The findings suggest that counselling may be appropriate early in life for families of large infants to help prevent future obesity. "We are hopeful that these data will be helpful for pediatricians, who can identify children with large birthweight and recommend healthy lifestyle practices to these families early on to try to avoid later obesity," said Mark DeBoer, senior author of the Pediatric Obesity study.