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Study finds link between childhood obesity and early infant feeding

Another week, another study - and this one is delving into the topic of childhood obesity.

Researchers at Western Sydney University have found that feeding babies solids or formula in the first four months could lead to an increase in the risk of obesity. 

This study, which has been carried out over ten years, followed 346 infants from Sydney’s southwest.

The southwest has the highest rate of childhood obesity in Australia and was found to have 82 percent of mums giving solids or formula to their babies within the first four months.

The study was led by WSU Translational Health Research Institute’s Haider Mannan, who said that exclusive breastfeeding was recommended, if possible, for at least four months.

She said, ''What our study has shown is that, in terms of infant feeding patterns, the first four months of life poses the greatest risk for the development of obesity later in childhood.''

She continued, ''We recommend continued exclusive breastfeeding for four to six months and not over six months as it may result in mothers exclusively breastfeeding, for example, for nine months which is not recommended based on latest research.''

Early introduction of solids to a babies diet is not recommended by the World Health Organisation either.

They suggest introducing “safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months” together with continued breastfeeding.

The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and contains important research - but what do you think?

Should solids and formula not be given to babies within the first few months and does it have a bad impact later on? 

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