Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting to introduce solid
foods until infants are between 4 and 6 months old.
A new study in the
March issue of Pediatrics found that among formula-fed
infants, introduction of solid foods before age 4 months was related to a
higher risk of obesity. The study, “Timing of Solid Food Introduction and Risk of Obesity in Preschool-Aged Children,” published online
February 7, compared obesity rates among 847 children at age 3. Among
children who were breastfed for at least four months, the timing of
solid-food introduction did not affect the odds of becoming obese at
age 3. Among children who were never breastfed or who stopped
breastfeeding before the age of 4 months, the introduction of solid
foods before the age of 4 months was linked to a six-fold increase in
the odds of obesity at age 3 years.
Researchers found this increased
risk was not explained by rapid early growth. Researchers suggest
greater adherence to guidelines regarding the timing of solid food
introduction may reduce the risk of childhood obesity.
The American Academy of
Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians,
pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.