Saturday, February 19, 2011

Formula Fed Babies Who Start Solids Too Early May Become Obese

Even thought the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents delay introducing solid food until their baby is 4 to 6 months, 26% of American parents start their infant on solids before they are 4 months old. A new study in the February 7th issue of Pediatrics suggests parents may want to rethink such habits.

Researchers tracked 847 children over a period of several years. It was determined that formula fed babies who started solids before they were 4 months old were 6 times more likely to be obese than babies who started on solids later. (By age 3, about 9% of the children overall in this study were obese.)

In line with other research, they also found that breast fed babies faced no additional risk of obesity, regardless of when they started on solids. (The AAP advises mothers to breast feed exclusively for 6 months, then combine nursing with other foods for at least a year.) Just something new parents should keep in mind ... there is no rush to start a baby on solid food.

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