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The best way to prevent child obesity is to start before birth and to take into account children’s genetic and prenatal conditions. 

Health professionals can: 

  • Support overweight women, before and during pregnancy to change their diet and lifestyle. This can reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes in utero.

  • Monitor pregnant women and infants for weight gain, especially for those with genetic conditions that make them more or less vulnerable to obesity. 

  • Train new parents about how to promote good eating and sleeping habits in their children.

Parents can encourage and be good role models for healthy eating and physical activity, including limiting screen time and access to high-calorie food. Further, schools can build into the school day more time for active play. 

All strategies should be based on health benefits rather than weight loss.