International health insurance customers who are concerned about their child's weight might want to discuss the issue with a doctor while the child is below the age of seven.
According to recent research, children are most at risk of becoming overweight or obese between the ages of seven and 11.
Indeed, 19 per cent of the 5,000 children monitored by the universities of Bristol, Stirling and Strathclyde became overweight or obese between these ages.
Just ten per cent put on too much weight between three and seven years, while seven per cent became overweight or obese between the ages of 11 and 15.
Professor Debbie Lawlor of the University of Bristol suggested that the statistics could be used to determine the best ages to instigate childhood obesity prevention strategies.
Meanwhile, Professor John Reilly of the University of Strathclyde, commented: "This research gives us an important insight into the stages of childhood and adolescence when the environment is most obesity promoting."