Infants who exhibited good appetite traits were more likely to turn obese later in life, claims a new study.
According to a paper presented by Professor Jane Wardle of University College London, England, and colleagues, infants with a good appetite "grew more rapidly up to age 15 months, potentially putting them at increased risk for obesity".
A second study revealed that 10-year-old children who continued to eat in spite of being full or in other words who showed lower satiety response were genetically more prone to obesity.
"It might make life easy to have a baby with a hearty appetite, but as she grows up, parents may need to be alert for tendencies to be somewhat over-responsive to food cues in the environment, or somewhat unresponsive to fullness," said Wardle, lead author of the study. "This behaviour could put her at risk of gaining weight faster than is good for her."
The second JAMA Paediatrics paper, in association with King's College London, analysed data of 2,258 10-year-old children born in the United Kingdom between 1994 and 1996.
A polygenic obesity risk score (PRS) for each child was formed on the basis of obesity-related genes to find out their genetic response to obesity. Those who showed higher PRS scores meant they were more prone to obesity.
"As expected, we found that children with a higher PRS score were likely to have larger body mass index and waist circumference," said Clare Llewellyn, lead author from the University College London.
But another startling revelation was that these children also had low satiety responsiveness.
Scientists said such children can be taught ways to deal with satiety problem. One method was to eat slowly so that they could feel full even with small portions. Parents could also adjust portion sizes to control their children's appetite.