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Study: Starting Infants on Solid Food Can Lead to Obesity

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Obesity and children. Those two words are in the same sentence more and more as an epidemic of childhood obesity befalls the United States. To combat the issue, parents may be contributing to their kids' excess weight-- without even knowing it. 

A new study suggests that not only what infants eat but when they start eating it can lead to obesity as they grow older.  Published in the journal Pediatrics, it followed 847 infants from before birth until age three.  Their mothers were surveyed about how they fed their babies and when they were started on solid food.   

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents wait until infants are between four and six months old before introducing solid food into their diet.  For the sixty-seven per cent of infants who were breast-fed, there was no association between when they started on solids and obesity, but for the thirty-two per cent of babies fed formula, those introduced to  solid foods earlier  than four months had a six times greater chance of being obese by age three.  The study ended at that age so we don't know if the pattern of obesity continued. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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