Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Feeding Pattern of Infants Fueling Childhood Obesity

Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Feeding Pattern of Infants Fueling Childhood Obesity

Article excerpt

Childhood obesity is often defined as a weight for height in excess of 120 per cent of the ideal, skinfold measures are more accurate determinants of fatness. Among other factors childhood obesity most likely results from an interaction of nutritional factors. In recent years obesity and being overweight are the most frequent nutritional disorder in childhood and adolescent and there is a continuing increase in their prevalence. Overweight children have a high risk of being overweight in adulthood and therefore are also at risk for the associated health complications such as hypertension and CHD. The realization that hypertension, obesity and diabetes are influenced by infant feeding pattern has stimulated interest to study the feeding pattern of infants influencing child's weight status. The present study is an attempt to find out prevailing feeding pattern of infants in Varanasi and its influence on their weight. The present study is a cross-sectional study. The sample consisted of 253 infants of urban area of Varanasi. The most important tool used in the study was a pre-designed and pre-tested schedule on which information regarding feeding pattern was recorded. Schedule was designed according to the guidelines proposed by ICMR and study of Dashputre. The nutritional status was assessed by anthropometric technique and 24- hour food recall method. In the present study it was observed that in exclusively breastfed infants weight decreased after 6 months. It can be concluded that obesity is easier to prevent than to treat, and prevention focuses in large measure in parent education. In infancy parent education should center on promotion of breastfeeding, recognition of signals of satiety and delayed introduction of solid foods. In early childhood education should include proper nutrition, selection of low-fat snacks, good exercise.

Introduction

In recent years obesity and being overweight are the most frequent nutritional disorder in childhood and adolescent and there is a continuing increase in their prevalence. Overweight children have a high risk of being overweight in adulthood and therefore are also at risk for the associated health complications such as hypertension and CHD. Since the therapeutic interventions aimed at encouraging weight loss in obese children have long term success rates that are less than satisfactory, the identification of strategies for the effective prevention of obesity is particularly attractive. Simple strategies without potential side effects are the most appealing. There is a close related response to different feeding patterns. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months significantly reduces morbidity and mortality. This practice followed by continued breastfeeding together with nutrient dense complementary feeding, into the second year and beyond, is the cornerstone of WHO/UNICEF's global strategy for infant and young child feeding. The realisation that hypertension, obesity and diabetes are influenced by infant feeding pattern has stimulated interest to study the feeding pattern of infants influencing child's weight status.

After the rapid decline of breastfeeding globally in the 60s, science had to revisit breastfeeding practices during the last three to four decades. This led to clear evidence that breastfeeding provides deal and irreplaceable nutrition to the baby, protects it against infections, allergies and asthma, promotes physical, physiological, motor, mental and psycho-social growth and offers protection against obesity and some adult diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and some forms of malignancy. It is plausible that breastfeeding might indeed have a programming effect in preventing obesity or becoming overweight in later life. Lucas and colleagues found significantly higher plasma concentrations of insulin in infants who had been bottle fed than in infants who had been breast fed; these higher concentrations would be expected to stimulate fat deposition and the early development of adipocytes. …

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