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Childhood obesity risk higher in minorities

Category: Diabetes

A new study has found that obesity is more prevalent in black and Hispanic children and that several risk factors actually begin before birth.

"Black and Hispanic children are at higher risk for almost every risk factor that contributes to the possibility of childhood obesity," said study author, Elsie Taveras, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston.

"If we wait until children are in preschool to address this problem, we may be missing the boat in reducing disparities in childhood obesity among racial and ethnic minority groups," she added.

In the study, Taveras and her colleagues monitored 1,343 white, 355 black and 128 Hispanic mother-child pairs from pregnancy until the children were 4 years of age.

When compared to expectant mothers who were white, the researchers found that minority women were more likely to be overweight when they became pregnant and had a higher rate of gestational diabetes, both risk factors for childhood obesity, according to

The researchers also identified several other risk factors linked to lifestyle, including beginning to eat solid foods before four months of age, insufficient sleep, stopping breast feeding early in infancy and a high intake of fast food after two years of age, Health Day News reports.

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