Obesity in Infants to Preschoolers

Updated:Aug 29,2014
One in three children and adolescents ages 2-19 are overweight or obese and nearly none meet diet and physical activity recommendations.

FACT - An estimated 12.5 million children 5 years or younger spend 33 hours per week in child care settings where they may consume most of their daily calories.

Obesity is linked to more chronic conditions than: smoking, poverty and drinking. Increasing the risk of more than 20 preventable conditions, including sleep apnea, asthma, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol stroke.

Risk factors:
  • Children in their early teens who are obese and who hive high triglyceride levels have arteries similar to those of 45-year-olds.
  • Obese children as young as 3 show indicators for developing heart disease later in life.
  • Children who are overweight 7-13 years old may develop heart disease as early as age 25.
  • Obese children are twice as likely to die before age 55 then their slimmer peers.
French fries are the most common vegetable that children eat, making up 25 percent of their vegetable intake.

Juice (which may lack important fiber found in whole fruit) makes up 40 percent of children’s’ daily fruit intake.

Forty percent to 50 percent of toddlers 12-35 months old watch more television than is recommended.

Nearly ½ of preschool-aged children don’t get enough physical activity.

The cost of obesity in the United States is staggering, totaling about $147 billion.

Children who eat healthy foods and get daily physical activity have:
  • Fewer school absences
  • Higher academic achievement
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Fewer behavioral problems
Obesity may be prevented by: physical activity, good nutrition, less screen time, and more sleep.

Developmentally, birth to age 5 is an important time to teach children to prefer healthy foods and develop gross motor skills, setting positive patterns and habits.


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