BOSTON — There are a lot more chubby babies than there used to be. That goes for chubby preschoolers, too. During a 22-year observational study, the ranks of overweight children grew by almost 60%, with more than a 70% increase for overweight infants, according to a study published online in Obesity. ‘Rates of overweight are increasing in very young children, even infants, from primarily middle-class families,’ wrote Matthew Gillman, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues. This increase may be a particular problem since early childhood sets the stage for later weight problems and their related sequelae, the investigators said. ‘Our observation of a trend of increasing weight among young infants may portend continued increase in childhood and adult obesity,’ they wrote. The study found an overall unadjusted prevalence of overweight rising from 6.3% in 1980 to 10.0% in 2001 for children under the age of six. Currently, as many as 65% of adults in America are overweight and 16% of young people ages six to 19 years old are considered overweight. Dr. Gillman and colleagues looked at height, weight and demographic data from more than 120,000 children under the age of six seen by […]

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