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From The JAMA Network
November 15, 2016

Infant Eating Behaviors and Risk for Overweight

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor
  • 3Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2016;316(19):2036-2037. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.16899

Nearly 1 in 4 children is overweight or obese by preschool age.1 As a result, there is increasing attention on preventing rapid weight gain during the first 2 years after birth. Developing interventions for this age range has been challenging because the mechanisms of rapid weight gain during infancy are not well understood. The usual predictors of obesity in later childhood and adulthood do not directly apply to infancy. For instance, the diet of most infants does not typically include junk food as a major component.2 Physical activity is generally not assessed in infants. Media exposure is common during infancy, but the usual mechanisms (reducing physical activity and increasing consumption of the advertised junk food) by which this exposure is related to increasing obesity risk may not operate in infants. Therefore, interventions have often focused on breastfeeding and the timing of introduction of solid foods, but accumulating evidence does not support either as a robust risk factor for infant obesity.3