Heli J. Roy | 3/21/2005 11:03:19 PM
The problem of weight gain is increasing in the
Obesity is thought to develop at critical times in a person’s life. Those times are infancy, early childhood and adolescence. In women, pregnancy is thought to be another critical period when obesity can develop.
Until the 1970s,
The study included 300 black infants born between 1959 and 1966 who were measured for weight gain during infancy and 20 years later were assessed for incidence of obesity. Of the 300 babies, 86 had rapid weight gain during the first four months of life. Of these, 12, or 14 percent, became obese adults. Of the 214 that did not have a rapid weight gain during infancy, 12, or 6 percent, became obese in young adulthood.
There was no interaction between rapid weight gain and gender, birth weight, maternal Body Mass Index, maternal age, smoking status or education. The risk for becoming obese in adulthood with rapid weight gain in early infancy was calculated to be 30 percent.
Second, the formula used in the 1960s was very different from today’s, with many advances in research being integrated into formula preparations used today. Formula-fed babies today may respond differently than those from several decades ago.
Third, birth weight for black babies is lower than white babies and may result in rapid catch-up growth in early infancy. This may result in changes during development that carry into adulthood and increase the risk for obesity.
The LSU AgCenter nutritionist says this study is one of the first to relate rapid weight gain in the first four months to obesity in adulthood. This may eventually lead to changes in recommendations for infant feeding practices, and more stringent follow-up on weight gain by practicing pediatricians.
The current guidelines by
Gradual introduction of iron-enriched solid foods in the second half of the first year should complement the breast milk diet. Guidelines recommend that breast-feeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.
In the first six months, water, juice and other foods are generally unnecessary for breast-fed infants.