Health & Fitness: Too Young to Diet

Noelle's parents were concerned. Their 21-month-old daughter had failed to gain any weight in nearly six months. Such failure to thrive is usually the result of illness, poverty or neglect, but Dr. Michael Pugliese found that the child was basically healthy and the couple well-to-do and doting. In fact, the parents were so committed to caring for Noelle (not her real name) that they had placed her on a stringent low-fat diet in an effort to ensure that she did not become obese. Told that the strict regimen was stunting the toddler's growth, they were surprised. Says Pugliese, a pediatric endocrinologist...

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