What are babies made of? Research shows for some it is sugar, salt and not all things nice
Children as young as four weeks old are being fed a poor diet of biscuits, ice-cream and soft drinks, according to new Australian research. A study published in the journal Nutrition & Dietetics found some month-old babies had been introduced to high fat, salt and sugar foods, despite health authorities recommending exclusive breastfeeding to six months of age.
Researcher Jane Scott and colleagues tracked 587 women from two Perth maternity hospitals through regular phone interviews for 12 months to understand how the new mothers fed their babies.
"Almost one in four mothers had introduced fruit juice, biscuits and cakes to their infants by six months of age. This is a worry because eating habits developed early in life usually continue throughout a person's lifetime – and an overweight child is much more likely to become an overweight adult," said Associate Professor Scott, of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Australia.
The study found babies who were started early on solids, and also those with two or more siblings, had a greater chance of eating high fat, salt and sugar foods by their first birthday.
In a recent Australia-wide survey, up to 20 per cent of children aged two to three years were found to be overweight or obese(1), indicating that the problem of children being overweight starts early in life.
Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson and obesity expert Professor Clare Collins said: "What newborns eat does matter. Babies need breast milk, not biscuits, ice-cream and soft drinks. Parent need more support to optimise breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, and we need ways to make it easier for parents to feed their children right."
"Infants and children are dependent on adults to choose the foods that will be best for them. Both eating habits and body weight track from childhood into adulthood, so getting off to the right start is crucial.
"What happens at home has the biggest effect on what children eat, so any effort to address children being overweight and obese must start at home. Australian parents need specific, evidence-based recommendations on what food and drinks are suitable for newborn babies, similar to the guidelines which are available for children older than five," said Professor Collins.
She called for better support for and promotion of breastfeeding, which she said is one of the most important factors in the long-term health of newborns.
- What are babies made of? Research shows for some it is sugar, salt and not all things nicefrom Science CentricWed, 8 Sep 2010, 6:56:09 EDT
- What are babies made of? Research shows for some it is sugar, salt and not all things nicefrom PhysorgTue, 7 Sep 2010, 11:07:16 EDT
- What are babies made of? Research shows for some it is sugar, salt and not all things nicefrom Science DailyMon, 6 Sep 2010, 12:14:19 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Inheritable bacterium controls Aedes mosquitoes' ability to transmit Zika
- Measuring a black hole 660 million times as massive as our sun
- Six new fossil species form 'snapshot' of primates stressed by ancient climate change
- 'Slow' NZ seabed quake sheds light on tsunami-earthquake mechanism
- World's shallowest slow-motion earthquakes detected offshore of New Zealand
- Experts propose strategy to save mammals on the brink of extinction
- Perceived diversity in neighborhoods is related to more prejudice, study finds
- Imodium for a legal high is as dumb and dangerous as it sounds
- An experiment seeks to make quantum physics visible to the naked eye
- Made better through science: Calcite tuned to be mollusk-tough
- Critically Endangered and ancient Himalayan wolf needs global conservation attention
- Nearby massive star explosion 30 million years ago equaled detonation of 100 million suns
- Newly discovered titanosaurian dinosaur from Argentina, Sarmientosaurus
- One oil field a key culprit in global ethane gas increase
- First multi-year study of honey bee parasites and disease reveals troubling trends