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.
Share your comments below.
Image stock photo