19 April 2005

Feeding on the First Week of Life

For future moms and dads, here's a new study you should consider:

First Week Critical in
Childhood Obesity --- U.S. Study

WASHINGTON --- What you feed a newborn baby during the first week of life could be critical in deciding whether that baby grows up to be obese, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They found that formula-fed babies who gained weight rapidly during their first week of life were significantly more likely to be overweight decades later.

"It suggests that there may be a critical period in that first week during which the body's physiology may be programed to develop chronic disease throughout life," said Dr. Nicolas Stettler, a pediatric nutrition specialist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"Our findings also point toward new potential targets for preventing obesity," he added. "If these results are confirmed by other studies, they may lead to interventions in newborns to help prevent long-term development of obesity."

[Reuters Health, 18 Apr 2005, 04:27 PM ET]

Read the full text of the study here.

There has always been a prevailing mindset that fat babies are cute. Well, they may be cute but it does not mean it's healthy. As a matter of fact the new study says that "each additional 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of weight gained during the first eight days of life increased a baby's risk of becoming an overweight adult by about 10 percent."

The fact that the study demonstrated that "a significant increase in the risk of overweight status in adulthood (is) associated with increasing weight gain during the first week of life," should alert future parents and pediatricians (most especially) what infant formula and what preparation dosages should be instituted in order to prevent unhealthy obesity for these kids.

The study also emphasized that the best alternative is to breast-feed your babies.

"For a variety of health reasons, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding during a baby's first six months of life," Stettler said.

Breast-fed babies are less likely to be overweight.

[Reuters Health, 18 Apr 2005, 04:27 PM ET]

There you go.

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