High-Carb Intake in Infancy Has Lifelong Effects, Study Finds

That bottle of apple juice might not be so healthy.

Consumption of foods high in carbohydrates immediately after birth programs individuals for lifelong increased weight gain and obesity, a University at Buffalo animal study has found, even if caloric intake is restricted in adulthood for a period of time.

"Many American baby foods and juices are high in carbohydrates, mainly simple sugars," he says. "Our hypothesis has been that the introduction of baby foods too early in life increases carbohydrate intake, thereby boosting insulin secretion and causing metabolic programming that in turn, predisposes the child to obesity later in life."

For more than 20 years, Patel and his UB colleagues have studied how the increased intake of carbohydrate-enriched calories just after birth can program individuals to overeat.

To avoid metabolic reprogramming that predisposes a baby to obesity later in life, he says that parents should follow the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines, which state that solid foods should not be given before a baby is 4-6 months old.

Tags: babyfood, juice, obesity

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