Here's Why Obesity Is One of the Most Common Health Complications for Infants

Infant weight is on the rise. In fact, close to 20% of infants are classified as obese. Mothers who are obese, have diabetes, or are over the age of 35 are more likely to have overweight infants. Physicians can detect obesity in infants as young as 6 months.

Our board-certified physicians at WestMed Family Healthcare specialize in family medicine and are dedicated to helping adults, adolescents, and children maintain optimal health. Childhood obesity is a major health threat, and infant obesity is strongly associated with early childhood obesity. Read on to find out what you need to know if you’re concerned about your infant’s weight.

High BMI in infants

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of body fatness based on weight and height. Infants are measured in length. Those who have a high BMI are much more likely to go on to be obese children. Without intervention, obese children have a higher risk of developing weight-related chronic health problems and becoming obese adults.

What puts your infant at risk of being overweight?

Infant obesity is a relatively recent health problem, and it’s not simple to predict the risk of having an obese infant. We do know that obese infants are more likely have a parent who is also obese. And mothers who have certain health problems, such as diabetes, have a higher likelihood of having an obese infant.

Obesity in pregnancy

Maternal obesity doesn’t just increase the risk for complications like gestational diabetes. It raises the chances of your baby being larger than normal for the gestational age. 

Data points to a link between maternal weight and birth weight. Carrying excess fat during pregnancy may cause your baby to have increased body fat. This in turn may lead to having an obese infant.

Maternal weight

Your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI are key considerations. If you have a high BMI (30 or above) before or during pregnancy, it’s crucial to do everything possible to manage your weight. Doing so reduces the risk of complications such as:

If you have a BMI of 30 or above, the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 11-20 pounds. At WestMed Family Healthcare, we discuss how to best manage your weight during pregnancy. 

During your prenatal appointment, we measure your height and weight to calculate your BMI. If you have a high BMI, you receive extra care and advice to ensure that you have as healthy a pregnancy as possible.

Infant weight

If you have an infant and are concerned that your baby is overweight, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your concerns. A member of our team will measure your infant’s weight and length to determine your baby’s BMI and risk for early obesity. If your infant is younger than 2 months old, we may recommend watching and waiting.

Visit us at WestMed Family Healthcare for high-quality infant care. Call our Westminster, Colorado, office to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians or to talk with our on-call provider. We offer online scheduling and same-day urgent care appointments.

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