Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Delaying solid food for babies may cut obesity risk

  • 2 Comments

Children have a higher risk of being obese at the age of three if they were fed solid foods before they turned four months old, research has shown.

University College London scientists found 26% of babies who were given solids before four months were overweight aged three, against 22% who did not receive solids until after four months.

At five years old, the proportions were 24% for children fed solids before and 20% for those fed solids after four months, and children who were breastfed were also less likely to be overweight.

The study found 23% of babies who were not breastfed for four months or more became overweight, compared with 18% who were.

More than 12,000 UK children took part in the Millennium Cohort Study, which found 36% of black Caribbean and black African children were overweight at the age of five - a far higher proportion than other ethnicities.

About 21% of white children were too heavy when they started primary school, and 17% of Pakistani children. Black children were also more likely to be overweight aged three, with 30% compare with 10% of Indian youngsters.

Geographically, children had higher risks of being overweight in Northern Ireland and Wales than in England and Scotland.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • I find this hard to find valid when you consider that up to relatively recently (15yrs??) all babies were weaned at around 10 - 12 weeks.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I disagree with the above comment, my son is 28 years old and the advice at that time was not to wean babies before they were 4 months old (to prevent ceoliac disease). the current thinking is not to wean babies before 6 months but I think this is to long to wait before introducing fruit puree etc.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.