Study: Prolonged bottle use leads to child obesity
Prolonged bottle feeding can be potentially harmful for toddlers as it can lead them to consume excess calories each day and 30 per cent more likely to end up obese by the time they were five, reveals a new study.
The study, sponsored by the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was published in the Journal of Pediatrics on Thursday.
23 percent of bottle-feeders obese at age five
Researchers from Temple University in Pennsylvania included 6,750 American kids in the study. All of them were born in the year 2001 and took part in another larger study named the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort.
According to the study, about 22 percent of the children, aged 2 years or more were found using baby bottles either to carry their primary drink, or to take milk at the bedtime.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has already recommended that infants should not be put to the bed with a bottle in order to stay away from tooth decay. The Canadian Pediatric Society has also suggested using water in a baby bottle at bedtime after six months.
But still, one-sixth of those participant kids were using the bottle during the day while others were either using it at bedtime, or both at bedtime and the day, finds the study.
Nearly 23 percent of kids above five years and using baby bottles were obese while 16 percent of them, who have left the habit of using bottles at the age of two, were considered overweight.
The fact is true even after considering other factors
According to the study authors, "To the extent that some calories obtained from the bottle are in excess of the child's needs, this could contribute to weight gain over time”.
"Prolonged bottle use may lead to the child consuming excess calories, particularly when parents are using the bottle to comfort the child rather than to address the child's hunger or nutritional needs," they further added.
The researchers even considered all other factors, such as weight of mother, birth weight of the child, and feeding practices in babyhood that might have an impact on child obesity.
However, prolonged bottle feeding was still found to have strong link to obesity at the age of five.