Where infants and toddlers are concerned, bigger is not always better. But new studies published in the May 2012 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine report that mothers may not recognize when their infants and toddlers are overweight.
Some moms today are having a problem accurately assessing body size. Over 70% of the moms studied did not perceive that their children were on the heavy side. In fact, more than two-thirds of the mothers who had overweight, or even obese, children under five years old reported that they were satisfied with their child's size. This is compared to a low satisfaction rating given by moms who had normal or underweight children. The moms in the study were equating chubbiness with healthiness.
Obviously, these findings raise concerns regarding the national childhood obesity epidemic currently escalating in our country. The rate of childhood obesity has progressively increased since the 1970’s. Since then it has gone from 5% to 15% with no end in sight. Interestingly, 30 years ago kids drank three glasses of milk to every one glass of soda. Today, it's reversed - three sodas to every one glass of milk.
What is normal?
Normal weight in children is calculated in somewhat the same manner as normal weight in adults using body mass index (BMI). Height and weight are used to determine the amount of fat a person has. Kids fall into four categories of weight:
• Underweight. The child’s BMI is below the 5th percentile.
• Normal weight. BMI ranges between the 5th and the 85th percentile.
• Overweight. BMI ranges between the 85th and 95th percentile.
• Obese. Anything over the 95th percentile is obese.
Children and Neighbory Defeating Obesity in Houston (CAN DO Houston) is an organization in Houston that addresses the childhood obesity epidemic. mpact.
Since 2008, CAN DO Houston has become a consortium of over 40 organizations whose goals range from promoting health eating and physical activity to community empowerment.