News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Babies Not Meeting Infant Feeding Guidelines May Be At Greater Risk For Childhood Obesity

New research reveals that a significant number of babies are not being fed in accordance with New Zealand’s infant feeding guidelines and this puts them at greater risk for childhood obesity.

The research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, looked at adherence to New Zealand’s infant feeding guidelines in the first year of life for children in this country’s largest longitudinal study of child development, Growing Up in New Zealand.

The study found one in four babies were fed in line with the current Ministry of Health guidelines, which cover feeding practices such as duration of breastfeeding; age at which babies start solid food; fruit and vegetable intake; addition of salt and sugar to food; eating iron rich food; and consumption of inappropriate drinks.

The study found that very low adherence to infant feeding guidelines was subsequently associated with childhood obesity at four-and-a-half years old.

Professor of Nutrition at the University of Auckland, Clare Wall, says this is the first New Zealand study to explore a connection between infant feeding guidelines and childhood overweight or obesity.

“Parents and caregivers are constantly challenged with food environments that are not conducive to healthy eating. It is worrying to see this association between low adherence to infant feeding guidelines in the first year of life and childhood overweight and obesity in the pre-school years,” she says.

“This research highlights the value of these guidelines in offering some protection against childhood obesity which is a really important finding.

"It suggests the need to more actively support, and potentially intervene, to help families access healthy food and follow recommended infant feeding practices in an effort to reduce our growing childhood obesity rates,” Professor Wall says.

Lead researcher, University of Auckland Senior Research Fellow, Dr Teresa Gontijo de Castro says although a quarter of babies met 10 out of the 12 guidelines, only 2% of babies met all the infant feeding guidelines, while around 15% met fewer than half of the recommendations.

Dr Teresa Gontijo de Castro

She says the third of children with the lowest adherence to infant feeding guidelines were the most at risk for childhood obesity at four-and-a-half.

The study found these children were around 50% more likely to be overweight or obese as pre-schoolers. There were some differences in risk for boys and girls.

“Dietary practices in early life represent a unique opportunity to tackle not only childhood overweight and obesity, but the subsequent diet-related diseases can present in adulthood,” Dr Gontijo de Castro says.

Professor Wall says this research can inform the new Eating and Activity Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers to support families, parents and caregivers to adopt optimal feeding practices for infants.

“This research also highlights the need for interventions which recognise and respond to maternal education, deprivation levels, and that are culturally appropriate in order to support families to adopt as many of the recommended infant feeding practices as possible” she says.

You can read the full paper here: An index measuring adherence to New Zealand infant feeding guidelines has convergent validity with maternal sociodemographic and health behaviours and with children`s body size.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland