Strategies to Prevent Pediatric Obesity - Infancy


There is a vast body of literature regarding pediatric obesity treatment and management. This CEU program will focus only on research based prevention strategies that you can implement within your own practice setting as a NP. Of course prevention begins at a very early age, so the current recommendation is to begin prevention efforts at the earliest well-child visits possible. In fact, studies have shown that encouraging mothers of infants to breastfeed can significantly reduce the likelihood of overweight and obesity in children.Goldfield et al (2006) found that children who were exclusively breastfed for 4 weeks or more (no water, formula or medications) had significant reductions in incidence of overweight and BMI at 6 months and 1 year in comparison to children who were formula fed. In a more recent study, Huh, et al. (2011) found that introduction of solids in babies prior to 4 months who were bottlefed was related to a significant increase in the incidence of obesity at age 3 years (odds ratio of 6.3). In the same study, timing of the introduction of solids in breastfed infants was not found to be asociated with obesity at 3 years. Therefore, the current recommendation is to continue to discourage introduction of solids in infants prior to the age of 4 months, with a debate continuing as to whether introduction should begin at 4 or 6 months of age. Certainly, it is best to encourage breastfeeding, and discourage introduction of solids prior to the age of 4 months to parents at this time.