Saw this article online. Read below:
Researchers have found that babies who were formula-fed and introduced to solid foods before they were 4 months old were more likely to be obese when they were 3 years old.
The timing of the introduction of solid foods didn’t have an effect on babies who were breast-fed, but among children who were never breast-fed — or who stopped breast-feeding before the age of 4 months — introducing solid foods before 4 months of age was linked to a sixfold increase in the risk of obesity, according to the research, which was published online Feb. 7 and will appear in the March print issue ofPediatrics.
“Our study results suggest that adhering to the current American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines of waiting till 4 months to introduce solids has the potential to reduce the risk of obesity later on,” explained study author Dr. Susanna Y. Huh, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Early feeding practices are thought to influence later eating patterns and weight later in life. But, previous studies hadn’t provided consistent answers as to whether or not the timing of the introduction of solid foods could make a difference in a child’s weight later in life, according to background information in the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Huh said it’s not clear why the introduction of solids before 4 months appeared to make such a significant difference for the formula-fed babies. But, the researchers theorize that “mothers of infants who are breast-fed may better understand and recognize their babies hunger and satiety cues. Mothers of formula-fed infants may not recognize these as well,” said Huh.
“This study reinforces a lot of things we normally recommend,” said Dr. Goutham Rao, director of the weight management and wellness center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “Breast-feeding is best, and it’s a useful way to make sure your child is healthy. In terms of solid food introduction, it’s wise to delay it until 4 to 6 months,” he said.