Baltimore study finds that formula feeds are getting more popular than breastfeeds. Infants appear to be formula fed more frequent than they are breastfed. An increased consumption of high-sugar and high-fat foods (eg. French fries) that paralleled increasing age groups was also recorded; this increases the risk of childhood obesity.
What you eat in your childhood not only affects your childhood but also manifests in your later years. Infants and toddlers should be given balanced diet containing adequate amount of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. These are essential for their development and growth.
AdvertisementIn order to study the effect of food and dietary habits on childhood obesity Sangita Sharma and colleagues conducted a cross sectional study that was later published in Nutrition Journal 2013. The experts enrolled 84 infants and toddlers (45 boys and 39 girls) in Baltimore USA, aged between 0-24 months for the purpose of study.
The aim of the study was to collect data and inform the GLB- Growing Leaps and Bounds Program which prevents obesity among infants and toddlers of Baltimore. The scientists carried out a survey by 24-hours recalls among randomly chosen caregivers of infants and toddlers.
The scientists noted the mean daily energy intake as 677 kcal, 988 kcal, and 1,123 kcal for children 0--6 months, 7--12 months and 13--24 months, respectively. They reported that infants in the age group of 0-6 months needed high energy from fats (48 percent) as compared to 7-12 months (34 percent) and 13-24 months (31 percent).
The study also showed that the mean daily intakes of infants in the age group of 0-12 months was more than or equal to the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). However the toddlers in the age group of 13-24 months received diet that was deficient of vitamin A, D and E. DRI are "comprehensive set of nutrient reference values for healthy populations that can be used for assessing and planning diets."
It was seen that about 33 percent of children and toddlers in the age group of 0-6 months were breastfed and less than 3 percent of toddlers in the age group of 7-24 months were breastfed. The conclusion drawn from the study was that a high frequency of top food was given to infants as compared to breastfeeding.
The experts said that since the intake of high fat and high sugar foods (French Fries and sweetened drinks, etc.) increased with age, so the chances of childhood obesity also multiplied.
Reference: Assessing dietary intake among infants and toddlers 0--24 months of age in Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Sangita Sharma et al; Nutrition Journal 2013.