Why the Concern
There's been a lot of talk in the news about overweight kids, and for good reason. First Lady Michelle Obama has even gotten involved. Her campaign, "Let's Move"—supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)—is focused on preventing childhood obesity and getting kids physically active.
Research has found a strong connection between the weight of these little people and what their weight will be like when they are adults. As the obesity epidemic becomes more widespread, it's of the utmost importance that parents play an active role in the nutrition and activity level of their children, right from the beginning.
For Kelly Pasquariello-Wadel of Tampa, Florida, the toddler weight issue is one that she and her husband have struggled with. "I'm concerned because my husband and I both have a tendency to be overweight, and I don't want that for my kids," Wadel says. "Also, as a teacher, I saw how hard it was for the little ones who were overweight."
In February 2010, the online edition of the journal Clinical Pediatrics published a study that found the obesity "tipping point" often occurs before a child reaches the age of 2—and sometimes as early as 3 months. Earlier research (Pediatrics, 2006) had already determined that what a child weighed as early as the age of 2 or 3 was a factor in what they weighed when they were 12.