Experts agree that obesity prevention should begin before children enter school. But due to a lack of conclusive data, health care providers often have trouble advising parents about which interventions are the most beneficial. A new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests that limiting prolonged bottle use in children may be an effective way to help prevent obesity.
Drinking from a bottle beyond infancy may contribute to obesity by encouraging the child to consume too many calories. "A 24-month-old girl of average weight and height who is put to bed with an 8-ounce bottle of whole milk would receive approximately 12% of her daily caloric needs from that bottle," Rachel Gooze explains. She notes that weaning children from the bottle by the time they are 1 year of age is unlikely to cause harm and may prevent obesity. The authors suggest that pediatricians and other health professionals work with parents to find acceptable solutions for stopping bottle use at the child's first birthday. (HealthDay News/ May 2011)