CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 30 (UPI) — Chubby infants may look adorable, but U.S. researchers warn baby fat may slow motor skills development.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found infants with rolls of fat under their skin were 2.32 times as likely as babies without fat rolls to have low scores on the Psychomotor Development Index test.
Overweight infants may have future health problems, but the researchers say their study found infant-weight status may have an immediate consequence — overweight infants are more likely to take longer than thinner babies to crawl and walk.
“This is concerning because children with motor skill delays may be less physically active and thus less likely to explore the environment beyond arm’s reach,” lead author Meghan Slining, a doctoral student in nutrition, says in a statement.
The researchers visited 217 African-American first-time mothers and their babies in their homes from 2003-2007 and weighed and measured the children at each visit. They researchers also assessed the motor skills of the children at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 months.
The findings are published online in The Journal of Pediatrics.
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