Health Watch — Childhood Obesity: Starting Young
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The statistics about childhood obesity are alarming. More than 30 percent of American children and teens are obese, and doctors are seeing weight-related illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes that usually strike adults occurring in younger and younger children.
Cindy Cunningham, a nutritionist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says parents can help prevent childhood obesity, and the effort starts soon after birth. Get your child off to a good start with breastfeeding, then introduce solid foods when the child is developmentally ready — usually around four to six months of age. Learn to recognize your child’s hunger signs and feed only when the child is hungry. Don’t use food as a pacifier or reward.
Next: More tips for dealing with childhood obesity.
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