Waiting longer to start infants on solid food could make for slimmer adults, a new study has revealed. Extended breastfeeding is usually associated with delayed introduction of complementary 'baby' foods, and it is possible that this might influence weight.
To investigate this possibility, a team of Danish researchers led by Kim Fleischer Michaelsen investigated these factors in a group of individuals who were studied from birth until adulthood.
Neither breastfeeding duration nor timing of complementary foods was related significantly to BMI in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood.
However, at 42 years of age the risk of being overweight decreased with increasing age at introduction of complementary foods.
For instance, for each month introduction of vegetables was delayed, the risk of being overweight at 42 years of age was reduced by 10 percent.
Their findings are published in the March 2010 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.