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first few days
head measurements
conclusive proof
breast milk
risk of obesity
height and weight
combination of the two
teen years
better health
helpful tips
What Baby Eats In First Few Days Can Influence Later Health
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Babies that are fed breast milk alone in the first few days of their life may have better health than those that are fed solely formula or a mixture of the two. In a recently released study, children were divided into groups with some getting only breast milk, some getting only commercially prepared baby formula and some getting a combination of the two. Those babies who were given only breast milk were found to have lower blood pressures and slightly bigger head measurements at the age of three years than the babies in either of the other groups. However, researchers were quick to point out that the children in all three groups had blood pressures and head measurements that fell with the normal range and that all were normal in terms of height and weight at that point.

Another study showed that the babies who were fed breast milk only for at least the first four months of their life were less likely to be obese than those who were given formula or had early introduction to solid foods, including cereal. This study, which tracked children from infancy to their teen years, also showed that race and mother’s age did impact the risk of obesity to some degree, possibly because certain cultures focused on different types of nutrition.

Researchers only suggested that there was a link between breast milk and a lowered risk of obesity, however, they have been quick to caution that it might be impossible to get the conclusive proof that people are really looking for. Until the link is established or proven to be invalid, researchers caution that each family should feed babies with the advice of their pediatrician and that breast milk is always the best choice for all babies.

Improvements in commercially available formula have continued to be accomplished with some being described as comparable in form and substance to breast milk. Regardless of what is fed, the researchers also caution that overfeeding children is more of a problem than what they are being fed. Some helpful tips have been suggested by the researchers which include allowing the baby to learn how to self soothe rather than relying on the baby bottle as a means of comfort.

Additionally, the researchers are looking at a possible genetic link for obesity which means that they are that much closer to finding a method of preventing childhood obesity. The epidemic has increased the risk of children who have heart disease and diabetes as well as other chronic conditions that were formerly reserved for adults only. Children as young as ten have been diagnosed with diabetes in ever increasing numbers in recent years. Statistically, the obesity epidemic has improved slightly but the problem continues to be very serious.


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