Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overeating learned in infancy, study suggests

Date:
May 22, 2013
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
Research shows that clinical obesity at 24 months of age strongly traces back to infant feeding patterns.

In the long run, encouraging a baby to finish the last ounce in their bottle might be doing more harm than good, new research suggests.
Credit: Wojciech Sobiech / Fotolia

In the long run, encouraging a baby to finish the last ounce in their bottle might be doing more harm than good. Though the calories soon burn off, a bad habit remains.

Related Articles


Brigham Young University sociology professors Ben Gibbs and Renata Forste found that clinical obesity at 24 months of age strongly traces back to infant feeding.

"If you are overweight at age two, it puts you on a trajectory where you are likely to be overweight into middle childhood and adolescence and as an adult," said Forste. "That's a big concern."

The BYU researchers analyzed data from more than 8,000 families and found that babies predominantly fed formula were 2.5 times more likely to become obese toddlers than babies who were breastfed for the first six months.

But, the study authors argue, this pattern is not just about breastfeeding.

"There seems to be this cluster of infant feeding patterns that promote childhood obesity," said Gibbs, lead author of the study that appears in Pediatric Obesity.

Putting babies to bed with a bottle increased the risk of childhood obesity by 36 percent. And introducing solid foods too soon -- before four months of age -- increased a child's risk of obesity by 40 percent.

"Developing this pattern of needing to eat before you go to sleep, those kinds of things discourage children from monitoring their own eating patterns so they can self-regulate," Forste said.

Forste said that the nature of breastfeeding lends itself to helping babies recognize when they feel full and should stop. But that same kind of skill can be developed by formula-fed infants.

"You can still do things even if you are bottle feeding to help your child learn to regulate their eating practices and develop healthy patterns," Forste said. "When a child is full and pushes away, stop! Don't encourage them to finish the whole bottle."

Breastfeeding rates are lowest in poor and less educated families. Sally Findley, a public health professor at Columbia University, says the new BYU study shows that infant feeding practices are the primary reason that childhood obesity hits hardest below the poverty line.

"Bottle feeding somehow changes the feeding dynamic, and those who bottle feed, alone or mixed with some breastfeeding, are more likely to add cereal or sweeteners to their infant's bottle at an early age, even before feeding cereal with a spoon," said Findley.

The next project for Gibbs and Forste is to reevaluate the link between breastfeeding and cognitive development in childhood. Forste has previously published research about why women stop breastfeeding.

"The health community is looking to the origins of the obesity epidemic, and more and more, scholars are looking toward early childhood," Gibbs said. "I don't think this is some nascent, unimportant time period. It's very critical."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham Young University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. G. Gibbs, R. Forste. Socioeconomic status, infant feeding practices and early childhood obesity†. Pediatric Obesity, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2013.00155.x

Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "Overeating learned in infancy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522131236.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2013, May 22). Overeating learned in infancy, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522131236.htm
Brigham Young University. "Overeating learned in infancy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522131236.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins