O.R. asks from Atlanta, GA on June 23, 2010
Overweight Toddler? - Atlanta,GA
My 16th month old is in the 95th percentile for height and the 91st for weight. The doctor said I should start giving him low-fat dairy products. Should I really be concerned about his weight at this age? I thought they needed whole milk? He eats tons of fruits and veggies and processed foods are a rarity (as are sweets). He never has juice–only milk or water. He does have a big appetite, but he's quite tall and moves constantly.
* He weighs just over 28 lbs and is 33.75 inches tall.
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much everyone! I think I'm going to keep doing whole milk but do low fat yogurt and cheese. He only eats plain yogurt so he's not getting any sugar there. And we definitely don't do fried foods. He eats a lot of beans and rice, avocado, fruit, a little bit of fish and chicken. I'm actually very particular about what he eats and thought that was the one thing I was really on top of ;) But it helps to hear that many of you have been in the same boat! Thanks for the advice.
P. answers from Spartanburg on June 24, 2010
S.P. answers from Atlanta on June 23, 2010
It sounds like he's perfect!
My two boys, 8 & 10, have always been 95-99th percentile in height, and 90-95th percentile in weight. All the pediatricians have always said they were proportional. That the worry would be if percentiles for height or weight were significantly different from each other.
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on June 23, 2010
Having been in the same situation with 2 kids, I'd completely agree with your view point and question your doctor's.
I was the over protective mother (with super milk, apparently) who worried about obesity with my kids as soon as they started putting on weight and would ask at each well-baby visit. Our pediatrician's kids are all exactly a year older than our's, and he said he'd begin to be concerned if it was an issue after their 2nd birthday.
From 12-24 months, they need the fat from whole milk (particularly) for proper brain development.
Our kids were consistently in the 90%+ on height and between 75-99% on weight. Our daughter just got back on the growth chart at her 24 month visit - she's now 95% height and 95% weight - perfectly matched. Our son is now in the 90% on height but the 50% on weight as he's grown and thinned out.
Do you take your child to a pediatrician or a Family Practitioner? That may be the difference in philosophy, and I'd put more weight into the American Academy of Pediatric's policies on issues for children this age.
Perhaps their perspective is that 1/3 children born in this generation is expected to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and they are the first generation on record expected to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. Quite sad.
But, I'd personally be concerned after age 2 as long as you know you're feeding him well (healthy foods) and instilling good principles towards lifestyle and activity. If not, make the appropriate changes now before the habits are hard to break.
1 mom found this helpful
A.D. answers from New York on June 23, 2010
Through age 2 (at least) you are supposed to give whole milk because they need the fat for brain development. I think my daughter was 95th %-ile for height and 90th for weight at that age. She just turned 7 and she's still at 95th for height, and probably around 70-75th for weight, and there's not an ounce of fat on her. I would not worry about his weight yet, especially since he is eating such healthy things. Continue doing a great job!
H.W. answers from Atlanta on June 24, 2010
First you should only be giving your kids Raw Milk from Cows on Pasture.
The Hormones and Soy given to Conventional Cows transfer into the milk and will unnaturally fatten your kids up this in conjunction with the garbagy grains and corn most cows are fed, going lowfat or skim won't help at all, read the lables there is all sorts of garbage added to lowfat or skim products to give them body. Kids need natural unprocessed food.
If you are concerned about your childs weight, get him in a gym program or take him to the park everyday. It's not only good for his weight but overall health.
E.C. answers from Fayetteville on June 23, 2010
How much does he weigh?
I think hes fine doctors are so worried about overweight children these days but i think that pertains to the older kids who sit and play video games all day. I wouldnt worry, but i would try giving him so juice through the day.
D.M. answers from Denver on June 23, 2010
He is a big boy, but not overweight. Just get in good habits now. My kids are similar in size 90th percentiles for both. We use 1% milk now as it still has the vitamin D - that's the key. We also get lower sugar yogurt and watch the processed foods. He will also continue to get more active and burn calories. I wouldn't be concerned, but I would cut down on the whole milk. Sounds like you're doing well!
K.B. answers from San Antonio on June 23, 2010
Omg, He's just a big boy. My son is 8 months old and people think he's over a year. He's only 3 lbs shy of your 16 month old. I think if you got a 2nd opinion from another pedi. they would beg to differ. My ped. has no concerns about my boy who is off the charts as of the moment. He's healthy and growing. Don't worry about it.
R.D. answers from Boston on June 23, 2010
If he has a lot of dairy then he will still get plenty of fat even with low fat products. Then there are the avocados and oils used for cooking etc. The height/weight percentages are where he compares to other kids his age-not where he should be. I think kids of this generation are heavier than they should be. I read that our kids are the first generation to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. :(
My kids are both ~75% for height and ~50% for weight and my ped said they are right where they should be. Maybe there is a BMI calculator for kids online so you can know what a healthy weight range for his age is?
I definitely wouldn't restrict amount food at this age but just always have healthier choices (low fat/low sugar/whole wheat) available.
C.M. answers from Dallas on June 23, 2010
I don't think I would worry about it. He is in the same percentile for weight and height....I'm not even sure how accurate those charts are anyway. They need that fat from whole milk for brain , growth and development so if you want to I would keep him on that.
The pediatrician told me she was worried about my 4 yr old daughter's weight because she was 33 percentile and 50-60 percentile for height. She told me to put her on whole milk, which I have done and haven't noticed her weight increase one bit. She is way too active.
Chances are your little guy will become even more active in the next few months and that weight will start dropping anyway. My 20 month old is constantly on the go so I'm not sure how long he will last in the 60 something percentile for weight.
Long story short....do what you feel is best. I think the pediatricians have so many worries now with overweight kids that they are overly cautious with a lot of kids.