Baby fat or a weight issue? That's the question many pediatricians are having to answer for parents. In this month's Ask The Pediatrician report, find out why most parents aren't noticing as their kids put on the pounds.
It's how a baby is supposed to look.
"They're supposed to be roly-poly," said Dr. Clancy McNally. "They're supposed to have some fat rolls and things. That's just a healthy baby."
Dr. McNally says that cute baby fat should thin out as they become toddlers. But for two-thirds of kids in the U.S. it's not happening and parents aren't always noticing.
"I think we've just gotten used to it," the doctor said. "I think it's changed our perspective and the way we're looking at our children. You know just looking at a child, you may think they just look healthy and they don't look obese."
Eleven-year-old Marcus Elshire has outgrown his baby fat. It's good news for mom who's been working hard to make sure her children are eating healthier.
"I'm cutting out most of the processed food. I would say versus a year ago, our pantry really looks different because we've really become concerned with that and our fast food is very limited, " said Stacy Elshire.
So what can you do? Doctors say parents need to choose healthy foods for their children like fruits and vegetables and make sure they're spending plenty of time outside keeping active.
Most importantly, monitor your child's weight from birth and make sure their weight is in proportion to their height. If you notice a spike in their weight, address it. If you don't...
"'We're seeing more blood pressure, and high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels in kids with this epidemic."
Your child's health could suffer.
Dr. McNally says parents should be good role models and talk to their kids early-on about nutrition, portion sizes and what's in it for them if they eat healthy and stay active - like being able to run faster, hit the ball harder and live longer.