Predicting babies' risk of obesity

In a leading article for the peer review journal The Archive of Disease in Childhood, a leading UK paediatrcian, Professor Mary Rudolf  from Leeds, questions whether enough is being done to identify babies most at risk of becoming obese.  She proposes an Obesity Risk Tool [ORT].  Quite apart from the logical reversal of traditional criteria for weight faltering [namely to identify infants rising through 2 centiles/being above the 98th centile] further clear indications such as parental BMI, mother's gestational weight gain and the child's birthweight should be taken account of.  She advocates that  the ORT becomes an indispensible item in a primary healthcare workers armoury. 

Producing a dependable ORT is arguably the most important innovation in reducing/preventing childhood obesity. The only long-term strategy in the country's fight against obesity is to fix it at source - focussing on the year[s] before/during pregnancy, birth and the child's very early years.  Hopefully, the UK Department of Health will fully recognise this when publishing its obesity strategy later this year.