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Warning to parents that weaning their babies too soon is causing obesity crisis.

According to research the problem appears to stem from mothers who are weaning babies off breast milk and bottle milk too soon and turning to pureed junk food instead, reports Daily Mail.

Figures last year showed more than 1,400 newborns have been classified as obese (weighing 9 lb 15 oz or more) in the UK since 2011. The average weight for a boy is 7 lb 8 oz and for a girl 7 lb 4 oz — around 2 oz higher than in 1971 — but a number of hospitals are now delivering so-called ‘sumo babies’, weighing 12 lb or more.

Tam Fray, a spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, that is made up of a group of healthcare professionals who take an interest in the treatment and management of obesity, believes one solution is the Government’s investment in more healthcare professionals to work with mothers and in the community.

He said: ‘We are weaning children far too early because parents are not being taught properly.

‘We are forcing food into children at an inappropriate early age.

‘The only solution is education, from health professionals and GPs as the knowledge is not being inherited.

‘Not everyone these days has extended families that help them when they are first time parents so the previous knowledge isn’t being passed on.

‘It is woeful that even when a child hasn’t developed a digestive tract we are forcing it to eat solids and it therefore likes to eat and often become obese before reaching one year.

‘This is largely because of the appalling system in place. Mothers do see health professionals but often at the beginning and end of the year due to under investment in this country.’

As well as better investment in education for parents, Mr Fry said the “environment for mother’s needs to change” as they are being forced back to work sooner where currently it is difficult to breast feed.

It is advised that babies should not be weaned off milk until they are at least six months old but there is evidence parents are doing this sooner and babies of half that age are being given pureed fast food and ending up in hospital with health issues.

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  • A concerning development indeed ! I also find the type of foods given to young babies are concerning…talking about rusks, marie biscuits, baby porridge, veggie crisps/chips, fruit filled bars and pouches, biscuits, yoghurt pouches and what not all ! None of these foods grow on the tree or come from the cow….many of them so processed !! Scary !

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  • I thought my baby would struggle with breastmilk alone as he’s such a big eater. He’s nearly 4 months old and is absolutely thriving on just breastmilk. I’ll continue holding off introducing solids until 6 months, there a too many long term consequences of weaning early. I’m sick of everyone saying “I was feeding my babies milk arrowroot buscuits at 4 weeks and they turnex out fine”. Comments like that are irresponsible.

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  • I introduced solids at around 3 or 4 months because my baby needed more than just my breast milk – I didn’t stop feeding him till he was nearly 12 months old when he didn’t want to continue. However, there was no bought food, just vegies we ate at home pureed and rusks soaked in my breast milk until he was able to eat/chew/suck them to death himself.

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  • When my little one came off breast milk, I fed her fresh fruit and vegies not pureed “junk” food.

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  • I was just totally guided by my Maternal Health Nurse. I had no idea what to do, so took my direction from them.

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  • I sure think that early weaning and giving over processed junk and sugary baby food is a cause of obesity. It shocking what kind of baby foods are being sold as so called healthy !

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  • Not sure if I completely agree with this. While I think it is best to follow the recommendations of breast feeding as long as possible in the first year and waiting for six months before introducing solids I dont think we can blame the obesity crisis on parents not following this. Junk food advertising, supermarket shelves being stacked with sugary drinks and less time being spent outdoors are far more likely to be contributing to the problem.

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  • many people have babies without the first clue of how they need to be cared for, when they dont Receive enough information from a Reliable source they turn to easy googleing which can Send them off in very wrong Directions.

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  • Milk should really continue as long as possible. If it’s not possible to breastfeed, then formula. Babies are developing bones/teeth and immunity, they need the best possible start.

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  • Some medical professionals are saying to start solids early to stop allergies.
    Regardless of whether a baby is breastfed or formula I don’t know of a baby that wasn’t having milk at least once a day at any less than 2 years.
    With breastfeeding Mothers are normally told to start solids at about 6 months of age. Initially it may only be 3 – 4 baby spoons of pureed sweet potato, pumpkin or fruit. I don’t consider that to be junk food. Once they are sitting up they are watching you eat.

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  • I agree that education is very important so that parents make the right choice for their children.

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  • the rules change all the time but all of my kids have started eating at 4 months, fruit and veg purees and baby rice,my two year old has only just started having chippies a few months ago. My last two babies were premature so under the care of paediatricians and we were told they were over 4 months now and to start them on solids

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  • There could be something true indeed. On the other side not everybody is able to breastfeed for 6 months.

    Reply

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