Weight gain in a child’s first six months
Researchers from the University of Delaware have found that rapid weight gain in a child’s first six months could be a risk factor for obesity in later life. The researchers stated that nearly 10 percent of infants were considered ‘high weight for length’ and were keen to examine how infants could achieve a healthy weight as they enter childhood. It has been shown before that breastfeeding gives protection to babies against rapid weight gain and obesity, however in the USA around 60% of infants are exposed to formula as the exclusive form of nutrition or in combination with breast milk.
The authors of this study were aiming to examine how the various compositions of infant formulas affect energy balance, weight gain and growth. It was found that infants who received cow’s milk formula had a quicker weight gain, whilst those that received hydrolysed protein formula and breastmilk had a slower and similar weight gain. The researchers are hoping to conduct further research into the various effects of formula on weight gain, and the potential lasting effects. They also hope that parents are given more information in the future about what is best for their baby.