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Obesity in Childhood Linked to Enriched Baby Milk

Researchers suggest that babies fed on milk that has been enriched with nutrients could makes them more prone to being overweight later in life.

The news comes as a shock for nursing mothers everywhere as the prevalence of using formula milk instead of breastfeeding continues to rise.

Higher Body Fat Mass

child obesity linked to enriched baby milkThe study, conducted by a team of researchers based at the Institute of Child Health at University College London, has found that five to eight-year-olds that were fed nutrient-enriched milk when they were babies had a body fat mass of between 22 and 38 percent higher than in those who were fed the standard formula milk.

While previous studies into this area in animals have linked childhood over-nutrition with overweight adults, this is the first such study in humans to produce these results when other factors have been ruled out, such as the mother's size and body weight. They tend to confirm estimates made from previous studies that the cause of greater than 20 percent of obesity in adulthood may be over-nutrition or another similar cause of infant weight gain in excess.

The findings have been published in the online version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and scientists say that these highlight many important public health implications, with the emphasis on the current problem of obesity facing both Britain and the US.

During the study, researchers took two controlled, randomized, double blind studies involving newborn babies in which neither they nor the mothers had any knowledge which type of milk they had been assigned. The research was led by Professor Atul Singhal, who said:

"This study robustly demonstrates a link between early nutrition and having more fat in later life in humans. Immediately, it raises the issue about the best way to feed those children small for gestational age, which should now be evaluated in the light of all current evidence.

In public health terms, it supports the case in the general population for breastfeeding - since it is harder to overfeed a breastfed baby."

Breastfeeding Still the Best

The findings lend further weight to the strongly held belief that breastfed babies have far greater nutritional benefits over those fed on baby milk in several areas.

There are also many other benefits to being breastfed, including the development of a more robust immune system throughout life. Combined with the natural provision of all necessary nutrients in the correct quanities, it is easy to see why the use of formula milk is a rather poor substitute for breastfeeding.


Posted on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 in News | 1 Comments

1 thoughts on "Obesity in Childhood Linked to Enriched Baby Milk"

Martha says:

I breastfed all my 4 kids and they all turned out healthy and none of them ever struggled with weight problems. Now my grandkids are growing strong and healthy from my daughters following their mom's advice. The proof of the pudding is right there for anyone to see!