Breastfeeding is beneficial for an infant as shown by many studies. A new study reported in American Academy of Pediatrics reveals that solid food given to baby before six months of his life, increases risk for obesity. Obesity is one of the largest chronic health conditions that would need attention of healthcare companies according to latest health reports. If certain dietary habits can increase risk of obesity in infants, parents should be aware of it.
About the study
A study was conducted on 847 3-year-olds, comparing the obesity rates. The study found that
- Children who were breast-fed for at least four months, odds of becoming obese at age 3 was not affected by the the timing of solid-food introduction
- Children who were formula fed or who stopped breast-feeding before the age of 4 months, linked to a six fold increase in the odds of being obese.
Dr. Susanna Huh with Children’s Hospital Boston, study author said that “Our data support the existing American Academy of Pediatric Guidelines that suggest waiting until an infant is at least 4 months old before introducing solids....
And what our study suggests is that increasing adherence to those guidelines across the U.S. population has the potential to reduce the risk of obesity in childhood.”
Do we know why solid food introduction at early age was linked to obesity?
The exact cause for link between obesity risk and solid food is not known yet. The leading cause is believed to be more calories consumed by babies feeding on formula, which could be result of consumption of more milk.
The data look preliminary, but it reiterates the fact that breast milk is beneficial for the baby and if possible introduces solid food at later stage than sooner for healthier life.