Formula Could Predict Your Baby’s Chances Of Growing Into A Fat Child

At one of the happiest times of their life, it may not be what a parent wants to hear.

But scientists have created a two-minute questionnaire said to predict if a newborn baby will become obese when they grow up.

Six simple questions are used to calculate the risk that he or she will be dangerously overweight by the age of 16.

Factors taken into account include the parents’ weight and whether the mother smoked in pregnancy.

The calculator, available online, is the brainchild of researchers at Imperial College London, who say the test could be used to help instill good habits in parents early on so their children do not grow up to be overweight.

Some 17 per cent of boys and 15 per cent of girls aged two to 15 in England are obese.

Experts have warned that if the tide doesn’t turn, today’s children run the risk of being the first to die at a younger age than their parents.

Lead researcher Professor Philippe Froguel said: ‘Once a young child becomes obese, it’s difficult for them to lose weight, so prevention is the best strategy and it has to begin as early as possible.

‘Unfortunately, public prevention campaigns have been rather ineffective at preventing obesity in school-age children.

‘Teaching parents about the dangers of over-feeding and bad nutritional habits at a young age would be much more effective.’