Low birth weight

Babies born with a low birthweight (less than 5.5 pounds) have a high probability of experiencing developmental problems and short- and long-term disabilities. They are also at a greater risk of dying within the first year of life. Smoking, poor nutrition, poverty, stress, infections, obesity, multiple births and violence can increase the risk of a baby being born with a low birthweight.52 Compared with other affluent countries, the United States has among the highest percentage of babies born with a low birthweight.