Experts have been discussing the pros and cons of breastfeeding exclusively for the first 4-6 months of life for babies, and new findings may support breastfeeding even more.
The Children’s Hospital Boston released new findings explaining that obesity risks may be drastically increased for certain babies. Babies who eat formula and solid food before they are four months old have increased risks of becoming obese according to these new findings.
The study also found that if a child has been breastfed for at least four months, introduction of solid foods does not increase any obesity risks for the baby.
For the study, 850 babies were analyzed for three years (birth until age 3). Researchers found that 25 percent of babies who were on formula diets and began eating solid foods prior to being four months old, were obese by the age of 3. Obesity risks decreased to just 5 percent if babies started solid foods after a baby was four months old.
Researchers also noticed that if a baby was breastfed, no negative side effects were noticed about the introduction time of solid foods.
Experts explain this study to be beneficial as nearly 20 percent of all children are considered obese, and close to 35 percent are overweight.
The study can be found in Pediatrics.