Chubby babies are cute babies. But the baby fat could also be a warning sign for obesity in early childhood – especially among Hispanics, according to a recent study.

The study, published by a Wayne State University researcher last month, says Hispanic children from 9 months to 2 years had the highest rate of obesity. About 40 percent of Hispanic children were obese or at risk of being obese, compared to 31 percent of whites and 35 percent of blacks, the study says.

“This suggests that Hispanic children were (particularly) at risk for possessing an undesirable weight status,” said Brian Moss, an adjunct professor at Wayne State University and author of the study, which was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

The study is one of the first to track the weight of young children. It tracked 7,500 children from 9 months until they were 2 years old.

The findings showed babies who weighed the most at the age of 9 months tended to be among the chubbiest when they reached age 2. In the study, kids above the 95th percentile were considered obese.

“Overall, we were struck by the prevalence of at-risk and obese weight-status children occurring at such a young age,” Moss said.

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