Does adding cereal to infant formula kick-start childhood obesity?
Everyone assumes childhood obesity starts by letting kids eat too much. A new study presented at the Pediatric Academic Society's annual meeting takes a look at the reasons why this may be happening.
Adding formula to bottles is one feeding practice researchers say should be discouraged. It not only leads to overfeeding, but excess weight gain.
In a study of 254 mothers, 24 percent said they put cereal in the bottle. "Mothers with depressive symptoms were 15 times more likely to add cereal than mothers without depressive symptoms. Those are pretty big numbers.
The findings, the authors said, demonstrate that stressors prevalent in low-income households, such as depression, single parenthood, and infant behavioral changes are more likely to be associated with feeding practices that encourage obesity.
Sometimes overfeeding occurs when people want to make sure their kids are not adversely affected by poverty. They're afraid they won't get enough to eat and overcompensate. Maybe it's the stress of having to work crazy hours and trying to get baby to sleep through the night. Or because Mom mistakenly thinks adding cereal to the bottle makes the baby more satisified and less fussy.
Whatever the reason, researchers say putting cereal into the baby's bottle is not a good idea. Baby's don't need it. Instead, they suggest, "It is important to provide support for parents related to healthy feeding practices if we are to end the epidemic of childhood obesity."
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