Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

April 8, 2014

Chubby Cheeks

by Mary Jo DiLonardo

Recently, a friend of a friend posted on social media about her toddler’s visit to the pediatrician. The doctor said the little girl was overweight and the mom just laughed it off. She said she loved her daughter’s chubby cheeks and she’d worry about it later. Maybe.

It’s an interesting dilemma. Babies are supposed to have baby fat. They’re supposed to have cute little dimples and tubby bellies. But when is a little one actually overweight?

You can’t necessarily tell if a child is at a healthy weight just by looking — and beautiful weight can be in the eye of the beholder. That’s why pediatricians have growth charts and use them to chart height and weight as kids grow. Once kids hit two years old, doctors use those measurements to start tracking BMI.

If something is off track, they can talk to parents with any concerns. In my friend of a friend’s case, she didn’t care. And that’s her choice, of course. But studies keep finding that overweight kids become overweight adults. More and more kids are experiencing weight-related health problems — like heart disease — that used to only show up in grown-ups.

My son was a tubby baby for a very brief time. Now he’s a tall, lanky teenager with record-defying metabolism. Chubbiness can indeed go away, but we never received any doctor’s warnings.

If you want to do some measuring of your own, here’s a BMI calculator. I also dug up some interesting stories about keeping your child’s weight in perspective and a look at if toddlers can be overweight.

What would you — or did you — do if your pediatrician told you your toddler was too big?

Posted by: at


Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

Get the 'Fit4Families' feed Add to any service

Kids Healthy Weight & BMI Calculator

Enter your child's information:
Get Started