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20 May 2015, 06:00
A trial, carried out by health visitors with tablet devices will start in Cambridgeshire today.
Sarah Redsell, professor of Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, said: "Children who are above a healthy weight are more likely to be ill and have time off school.
Being very overweight in childhood can also sow the seeds for health problems in later life such as heart disease and diabetes.
One approach is to try and intervene early in life.
The information we get from this study will help us understand whether or not parents/carers would like to know about this risk, and if so whether health visitors can work with them to help them understand how they might lower the risk for their baby."
The test, called ProAsk (Proactive Assessment of Overweight Risk During Pregnancy), is being developed by the Health e-Learning and Media (HELM) group based in the School of Health Sciences at Nottingham.
Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University are leading an 18-month study where they will examine whether parents and carers found ProAsk helpful.
They will also assess whether health visitors can use the results to tailor their advice to parents.