A person is said to be obese when he/she has too much body fat. Obesity occurs overtime, usually as a result of overeating, when a person eats more calories than is used. Being obese is a serious problem as it increases a person’s risk of some chronic diseases like heart disease and some types of cancer.
It is a well known fact that adults and children can and do become obese, but what about babies? Can a baby be too fat or obese? At birth, a baby’s weight is measured and depending on the result, a baby can be said to have low birth weight (1000g), extremely low birth weight (less than 1000g), normal weight (2500-4000g) and high birth weight (more than 4000g).
Having a low birth weight is associated with a number of health conditions including bleeding in the brain and respiratory distress syndrome. Also babies born with low birth weight are more likely than babies born at a normal weight to have certain health conditions later in life including high blood pressure and heart disease.
While there has not been much study done to find out the effects of high birth weight on a child, few studies have found an association between high birth weight and a greater risk of health conditions like type 2 diabetes and autism.
If your baby is on the chubby side, you should not let this trouble you. You should know that most babies tend to be chubby and this is normal. Also while it is true that more babies are overweight today than ever before, yet, most babies are not too fat.
Your baby needs to eat well to grow as expected and this is why reducing calorie intake for the purpose of weight loss is not recommended for babies age two and under. You should therefore not attempt to place your baby on a diet. If you are concerned about your baby’s weight, you should see your doctor and it would also help to:
- Breastfeed as long as possible
- Reduce sugar-sweetened drinks
- Limit screen-time and allow your baby plenty of time to play and move around