Skip Navigation LinksStarting-Solids-Too-Early-May-Increase-Obesity-Risk

aaa print

Starting Solids Too Early May Increase Obesity Risk


The American 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