(NaturalNews) Introducing babies to solid food too soon significantly raises their chances of becoming obese, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers from various hospitals in and around Boston, Mass., concluded that formula-fed babies who begin eating solid foods before four months are 600 percent more likely to become obese by age three than children who begin eating solid foods later.
The team tracked 847 infants as part of the study, 75 percent of whom became obese by age three. Breastfed babies in the group who began eating solid foods before four months of age were not any more prone to obesity than those fed solid foods after four months of age. Only formula-fed babies experienced an increased obesity risk, both before and after four months, indicating a striking nutritional difference between formula and breast milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and various other groups, all now recommend that babies be breastfed for at least the first six months of their lives. Surveys indicate that only about 75 percent of American babies receive any breast milk at all, and only about half of those get it for more than four months.
According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, switching from baby formula to breast milk reduces a child's likelihood of becoming obese by up to 20 percent. Making the switch is also better for a child's overall health, as many formulas are loaded with highly refined sugars, genetically-modified (GM) ingredients, and other nutrient-deficient additives (http://www.naturalnews.com/029863_Similac_in...).
Breastfeeding also produces healthier children who experience less infections and disease. A 2010 study out of Greece, for instance, found that babies breastfed for at least the first six months experience less overall infections. The study essentially showed that breastfeeding works better than vaccines at providing superior immunity, and without the harmful side effects (http://www.naturalnews.com/029899_breastfeed...).