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How to Fight Trend of Preschool Obesity

Institute of Medicine Calls for New Policies to Promote Exercise and Healthier Eating

Educating Parents

Studies have found that many parents don't realize that overweight infants and toddlers are at higher risk for obesity later in childhood.

For this reason, the IOM committee is calling on pediatricians to measure infant weight, height, and body mass at every well-child visit to identify those at risk and help educate parents about healthy eating and exercise habits.

The IOM committee called on health care providers to encourage new moms to breastfeed exclusively for six months, and the group called on federal officials to establish clear dietary guidelines for children under the age of 2.

"This is the period of life when children are establishing food preferences and eating patterns," Birch says.

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