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Being large at birth correlates to childhood obesity

A new study, from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, has suggested that infants with a high birthweight are more likely to become obese children. The study itself examined the data of 10,186 children born both prematurely and at term. The findings were consistent for both sets of children. It was found that children born with a high birthweight (described as >10lb) were 69% more likely than average weight children to be obese by age four and by age six, 23.1% of high birthweight children were obese, whilst only 14.2% of average birthweight children were.

The study found the relationships consistent despite adjusting for factors such as socioeconomic status. The researchers are calling for doctors to counsel parents of high birthweight children, so that the development of obesity in later life can be prevented. It is also hoped that even if doctors do not counsel their patients, new parents will alter their lifestyle habits to help their children avoid future weight and health problems.

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