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Formula-fed infants at risk of obesity

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Formula-fed newborn infants experience an average of 100g less weight loss than breast-fed infants, research has shown.

Formula-fed newborn infants experience an average of 100g less weight loss than breast-fed infants, research has shown.

Authors of the study, conducted using 812 newborn weight charts from six hospitals in Canada, suggest that formula feeding could be a risk factor for obesity in later life. Exclusively formula-fed infants lose on average 3% less weight between birth and discharge than those which were only breast fed, the study shows.

The authors state: 'The substantial difference in weight loss between exclusively breastfed and completely formula-fed newborns leads one to conjecture that formula fed infants may be at risk for overfeeding in the early days.

'Breastfeeding-supportive environments during the perinatal period are required to ensure the necessary support and information to enable women to breastfeed.'

The UK government is about to pilot new child growth charts based on breastfeeding. Read full detailsin next week's NT.

Journal of Human Lactation (2007) 23: 233-241

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