14 March 2013
Parents could be unwittingly putting their children on the path to obesity, with new government statistics showing three-quarters of babies and toddlers are fed too many calories.
Published by the Department of Health, the Diet and Nutrition Survey of Infants and Young Children 2011 was a one-off project analysing food consumption, nutrition intake and status of children aged between four to 18 months.
It was observed that while infants consume a varied diet overall, meaning there are no new nutritional problems on the horizon, calorie intake was a cause for concern.
Babies under six months generally do not need more than 600 calories a day, while 750 calories should be consumed by those under one year.
Exceeding these amounts can lead to childhood obesity and other health complications in later life, such as heart problems.
Tam Fry, from the Child Growth Forum, told the Daily Mail that high calories among babies and toddlers is the result of calorie-dense food from jars and formula milk.
"Mothers are giving them foods such as ready-made purees which are energy dense but not necessarily nutritious," he said.
"Additionally, breast-fed babies stop sucking when they have had enough. The problem with formula feeding is that mothers expect babies to finish the bottle, even if they don’t want it."
Posted by Edward Bartel
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