Most Mothers Give Infants Solid Food Too Early

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babyFrom Your Health Journal…..”My regular visitors here know I always love to promote a site called My Health News Daily – as they always have such wonderful, informative health articles. Today’s article is written by Rachael Rettner entitled Most Mothers Give Infants Solid Food Too Early. New findings each day help us to understand the beginnings of childhood obesity. We know an epidemic is taking place now, not just with children, but adults. And, obesity related illness is also on the rise, which include heart disease, asthma, cancer, weak joints, and type 2 diabetes. Sedentary lifestyle, along with lack of physical activity is a major culprit to the developing problem. Now, in a study, 40 percent of mothers said they gave their infants solid foods before the age of 4 months, which is earlier than recommended. About 24 percent of mothers who breast-fed, and 53 percent of mothers who formula-fed, gave their babies solid food too early. Studies have also linked the early introduction of solid foods with an increased risk of chronic diseases later in life, such as obesity and eczema. In addition, starting babies on solid foods early may reduce the duration of breastfeeding, and breastfeeding itself has been shown to have many health benefits for kids. I encourage you all to visit the My Health News Daily web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. I thought it was well written and informative.”

From the article…..

In the study, 40 percent of mothers said they gave their infants solid foods before the age of 4 months, which is earlier than recommended. About 24 percent of mothers who breast-fed, and 53 percent of mothers who formula-fed, gave their babies solid food too early.

At the time the study was conducted (between 2005 and 2007), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended infants start solid foods no earlier than 4 months. Currently, the AAP recommends waiting until 6 months. Until that time, the AAP recommends breast milk as the sole food for infants (along with necessarily vitamin supplements).

The new findings are concerning because infants may not be developmentally ready for solid foods before 4 months of age (they may have troubling eating and swallow the food properly), the researchers said. Studies have also linked the early introduction of solid foods with an increased risk of chronic diseases later in life, such as obesity and eczema. In addition, starting babies on solid foods early may reduce the duration of breastfeeding, and breastfeeding itself has been shown to have many health benefits for kids.

The findings highlight the need for better communication about when mothers should start their infants on solid foods, and the risks of giving these foods too early, said study researcher Kelley Scanlon, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

The study surveyed 1,334 women before they gave birth, and nearly every month during the first year of the baby’s life. Moms were asked to report any solid foods their babies ate in the last week.

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