“A baby who is shooting up through the percentiles in weight-for-length during the first six months is two to three times more likely to become obese as early as adolescence,” said study author Ellen Demerath, a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota.
Children of mothers who had a healthier diet at any of those points were slimmer, weighed less and had a lower body fat percentage in the first six months than those whose moms had poorer diets.
“This is evidence that breastfeeding mothers with high-quality diets may help their babies be slimmer and have lower-percent body fat than those who have lower-quality diets, while also supporting healthy growth in length and lean body mass. This bodes well for their risk of obesity later in life,” Demerath said.
That information could help mothers decide what to eat to make the most nutritious milk, according to Demerath.
About 1 in 5 kids in the United States between ages 6 and 19 is obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: University of Minnesota, news release, May 14, 2019