Broward Health Imperial Point
Stroke Center

Stroke Center

Back to Document

A Chubby Baby Is Not a Sign of Obesity

With childhood obesity on the rise, should parents worry about the weight of their babies?

Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say parents should ask their pediatricians to keep tabs on children's weight from birth on up. But they shouldn't obsess about the weight of a child younger than 2 years.

Members of the AAP Nutrition Committee say there are no data to support the belief that children in this age group who are overweight are more prone to be heavy later.

No BMI for infants

For kids this young, doctors don't rely on the body mass index, which relates weight to height. Instead, pediatricians use weight-for-length charts.

According to the AAP, height is difficult to measure in infants and very young children, and length and height are not the same as in older kids. Instead, the best predictors of an overweight child are first, whether both parents are overweight, and second, whether the mother alone is overweight. If parents weigh too much and feed the child a poor diet, chances of an overweight child rise sharply.

Babies breastfed for the first six months tend to be leaner. One reason: Breastfed babies eat only when they're hungry, not when prompted by parents.

More fruits, veggies

Parents should feed most babies more fruits and vegetables and less rice and cereal.

Experts also recommend that parents give babies and toddlers at most 4 ounces to 6 ounces of 100% juice daily. Juice isn't a necessary part of a child's diet and isn't as healthy as the actual fruit. Avoid all fruit punches, sweetened soft drinks, and other sweetened beverages.

Babies stay active naturally as they learn to roll over, move their heads, crawl, and walk. Don't confine them to a crib or rein in their activity, as children will stop and put themselves to sleep when they are tired.

Children's growth slows between the ages of 12 and 15 months, so parents should understand this is normal and it doesn't mean there is something wrong with their baby. 

About Our Stroke Center

The Primary Stroke Center, certified by the Joint Commission, is focused on the emergent needs of a stroke patient with our multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, physical and speech therapists, dieticians and case managers who work together to develop a customized treatment plan for each patient. Our Emergency Department is fully prepared to help you and your loved one through this delicate time, staffed with competent emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons and nursing staff.

For more information about our services or a free physician referral, call the Broward Health Line at 954-759-7400.

What Is a Stroke or Brain Attack?

Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. Every three minutes, someone dies of one.

Stroke is a cerebro-vascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability.

A stroke is similar to a heart attack. In a heart attack the blood flow is interrupted in the heart and it doesn't get enough oxygen. A brain attack is similar but blood flow to the brain is interrupted, the brain does not get enough oxygen and brain cells quickly begin to die.

Act F.A.S.T.

Act F.A.S.T.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:

FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?

TIME If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important.

Call 911 and get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Remember, 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Which means every year, up to 600,000 Americans could have prevented their strokes.

Stroke Warning Signs

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, swallowing or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • If you experience these symptoms, dial 911!

Back to the Top

Health Tip: Help Prevent Stroke

Whether you've ever had a stroke or not, there are things you can do to minimize your risk. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions:

  • Keep blood pressure under control with lifestyle changes, and, if necessary, medication.
  • Help prevent diabetes by eating a healthy diet, losing extra weight and getting regular exercise.
  • Avoid use of any tobacco products, and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Get treatment for atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Left untreated, the condition can cause clots that can lead to stroke.
  • Help keep your "bad" cholesterol down by eating a diet that's low in saturated fat and high in fiber.

Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean you will automatically have a stroke. But because your stroke risk is higher, ask your doctor about changes you can make to prevent a stroke. Need a doctor? Call the Broward Health Line at 954-759-7400.

Back to the Top