Formula Milk Can Increase The Risk Of Obesity In Children, Study Revealed

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Children who were breastfed for less than 6 months had 3.5 percent more body fat by age 9 than children who were breastfed longer.


Giving formula milk and fizzy drinks to babies early on increases the risk of high levels of body fat. This has been revealed in a study. One research found that babies who were breastfed for six months or more had a lower percentage of body fat by the age of nine.

The study, led by a team from the University of Colorado Ansch Schutz Medical Camp in the US, showed that children who were not given soda before 18 months also had less fat mass at the age of nine.

“Infant dietary patterns, particularly short breastfeeding periods, early exposure to soda, and their combined effects may influence body fat levels in early childhood,” said lead researcher Katherine Cohen of the university.

The team analyzed data from more than 700 mother-child pairs. The average age of the mothers at the time of recruitment was 29 years, 51 percent of the infants were boys. The researchers then grouped the infants according to length of breastfeeding (six months or more versus less than six months).  The age at which complementary foods were started to their child. They found that infants who were breastfed for less than six months had, on average, 3.5 percent more body fat at age nine than infants who were breastfed for six months or more.

About 7.8 percent more fat at age nine

The analysis also found that infants who were given soda before age 18 months had about 7.8 percent more body fat, on average, at nine years of age. Those who first consumed soda at age 18 months or older were found to have less fat. Although this study cannot clarify the potential mechanism, previous research suggests that the link between breastfeeding and obesity risk may be related to differences in the nutrient composition of breast milk versus infant formula, Cohen said.

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