Study: Bottle feeding may lead to obesity

Sept. 30, 2010 at 12:39 PM
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LONDON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Bottle feeding infants can put them on the path to a life of heart disease and obesity, a study by British researchers says.

The study by the Institute of Child Health in London says the use of baby formula can cause health problems in later life as children develop unnaturally large appetites, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Overfeeding in infancy causes at least a fifth of adult obesity cases, Professor Atul Singhal from the MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Center says.

Breastfed babies limit their own intake of milk because they have to work hard to get it, Singhal said, whereas bottle-fed babies lie back and take in what they are given.

The danger, Singhal says, is that in being offered more than they need they are building up an appetite for the future.

"When they are exposed to high-protein, high-fat foods, they are more likely to become obese," he says.

"In public-health terms, it supports the case in the general population for breastfeeding -- as it is harder to overfeed a breastfed baby," Singhal says.

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