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Children in day care prone to be more overweight, study finds

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

The parents of children who attend day care may be wise to pay heed to their child's exercise and diet, according to a new study that found that young children in day care are 50 percent more likely to be overweight than those who stay at home with a parent.

"Consideration of nutrition and physical activity in child care arrangements may be worthwhile for developing child care programs and policies that would be better adapted to children’s needs," the researchers wrote in their study, published online Nov. 8 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Canadian researchers examined the children of more than 1,600 families in Quebec, born between 1997 and 1998. They were classified according to the type of care they received in ther preschool years: spanning 1.5 to 4 years.

After following up with the families 10 years later, researchers found that the odds of a child becoming overweight or obese increased by 9 percent in the first decade, with each increment of five hours spent in non-parental child care, the New York Daily News reported.

"I suggest to parents they ensure their children eat well and get enough physical activity, whether at home or at day care," study researcher Jean Séguin, of the University of Montreal, said.

According to the researchers, day care policies have the potential to reduce weight problems in children through the incorporation of physical activity and healthy dietary programs, Fox News said.

Rachel Lowry is a reporter intern for the Deseret News. She has lived in London and is an English graduate from Brigham Young University. Contact her at rachel.lowry@gmail.com or visit www.rachellowry.blogspot.com.

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