Q My 14-month-old son is heavy for his age. I’m worried he will grow up obese. How do I make sure he stays healthy?
A Paediatrician Dr Scott Dunlop says: There is growing evidence that children who are overweight at an early age will become overweight adults. There are obviously many factors involved – genetics, food choices, and lifestyle activity. Having said that, many ‘overweight’ toddlers grow significantly leaner as they become more mobile. A 14-month-old child who has just started walking may indeed lose a lot of his ‘puppy fat’ as he mobilises. The key to avoiding adult obesity is to try to establish healthy lifestyle choices from an early age – eating a broad range of foods, encouraging a positive approach to eating, balanced portions and an active lifestyle focussed on play and outdoor pursuits.