With 1 in 5 US youngsters already overweight or obese by the time they start school, a new report urges that it’s never too early to prevent babies, toddlers, and preschoolers from getting too pudgy too soon. Today’s recommendations from the Institute of Medicine are not about putting the very young on a diet, but rather, knowing what portion sizes are normal as kids transition from baby food to bigger-kid fare. Also: Preschoolers need at least 15 minutes of physical activity for every hour they spend in child care.
Pediatricians generally give pretty explicit directions on how to feed babies, and the institute called on the government to create consumer-friendly dietary guidelines for birth to age 2. That would capture the "dramatic dietary transition that occurs, from consuming one single food to, by the time they're 2, ordering up things from McDonald's and, we hope, having also learned to eat a lot of healthy foods," said an institute member.