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Baby Strollers May Promote Obesity


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PHILADELPHIA, Dec 02, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- With the nation facing an obesity crisis, health experts are now reportedly accusing the baby stroller industry of contributing to pediatric obesity.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports what is upsetting some health care and physical education experts is the trend of using strollers well beyond the toddler years instead of getting children into the habit of walking.

The Inquirer noted once the province of babies, buggies are becoming conveyances for older children.

Strollers traditionally were used for children from infancy to about 36 months of age. But today, many strollers are designed to carry children through age 4 and even beyond, while increasing weight limits to as much as 50 pounds.

Jane Clark, chairwoman of kinesiology at the University of Maryland, told the Inquirer: "All you have to do is walk around a fair or mall, and you see older and older children in strollers. ... If we overuse (strollers), children are not going to be as physically active."

Clark said she views strollers for heftier loads as part of a larger phenomenon of "containerizing" children: "I think we're overly protective. We've taken a lot of physical play away because we think it's unsafe."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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