That 'Baby Fat' May Not Be As Harmless As You Thought

There was a time when a chubby baby was considered healthy. Now, a new study from the University of Montreal showed that children under 10 with excess body fat are more at risk of developing diabetes as a pre-teen than slimmer children.

The Study

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that children from 8 to 10 years old with even 1 percent of additional body fat had a three percent decline in insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is considered pre-diabetes and often ushers in the onset of full-blown diabetes if not treated.

According to the study, more screen time and fewer physical activities were linked to increasing body fat and increased diabetes risks.

How to Help Your Child

If you're worried about your child's risk for diabetes, the study findings can lead parents in the right direction for preventative measures.

"Our findings suggest that we should be encouraging children early on to be physically active, and that we should reduce their screen time, in order to favor a healthy body weight and better cardiometabolic health later on in life," said lead study author Dr. Melanie Henderson in an email.

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