Can the Risk of Childhood Obesity Be Predicted at Birth?

by Nicole Etolen


childhood obesity

According to a study published in New Scientist, researchers believe that they may be able to predict the risk of childhood obesity the moment your baby emerges from the womb. The researchers looked at data from over 4,000 children born in Finland in 1986. They compared birth weight, mother’s weight, and other risk factors. From there, they developed their own algorithm and continued analyzing data on children born over the last decade. Approximately two-thirds of the babies that they predicted would suffer from weight problems actually did, leading them to believe that their formula is a success.

While the numbers definitely look impressive, the study neglects to take into account many other factors that contribute to childhood obesity.  It also can’t account for certain genetic factors that may be present, yet aren’t typically tested for at birth. While some feel that the study is still a great tool in helping prevent childhood obesity, others argue that it could actually cause more harm than good.

Pros of assessing childhood obesity risk factors at birth

Cons of assessing the risks at birth

The bottom line is, while the study can definitely be beneficial in helping parents understand the risk factors and encouraging them to remain vigilant, such a test should not be relied upon as the only predictor of the chances of developing childhood obesity.

What do you think? If your doctor informed you that your newborn was at risk for developing childhood obesity, would it change your parenting style in any way?

Can the Risk of Childhood Obesity Be Predicted at Birth? is a post from: Our Family World
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