Overweight toddlers are more than twice as likely to have iron deficiencies as their skinnier counterparts, with Hispanics facing the highest risk, concludes a study in September’s Pediatrics, the first to link obesity with low iron levels. Researchers stressed the importance of weaning kids 1 to 3 years old off bottles of milk and juice, introducing meats, eggs, and other iron-rich foods.
Children in day care were 50 percent less prone to deficiencies, and that disparity may explain why Hispanic children, less likely to attend day care, were at the greatest risk, according to the AP. The findings underscore the importance of testing children for iron deficiency. Said one researcher, “It’s amazing how anemic children can be and still run around.”