Keeping Children’s Weight on Track: A Pathway to Health and Well-Being

This report card examines children’ weight over time. We looked at almost 3,000 infants and toddlers from low-income families who started life in a healthy state  – born at a healthy birth weight and at term.

Most children remained at a healthy weight at both visits (on average 1 year apart). Children with an unhealthy weight at their first visit were able to recover to a healthy weight at their second visit. Shifts from healthy to unhealthy weight  – either downward or upward to underweight or overweight, respectively – could be a sign of social and/or health stressors influencing young children’s weight gain. This research underscores the need for nutrition assistance programs for low-income families. More importantly, it shows that children can bounce back to a healthy weight range.

This publication is the fifth in a series of report cards, made possible through generous funding from The JPB Foundation.