Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Health Fears as Babies Are Fed Too Much; 'OFFICIAL GUIDELINES FOLLOWED BY PARENTS ARE WRONG, LEADING TO CHILD OBESITY'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Health Fears as Babies Are Fed Too Much; 'OFFICIAL GUIDELINES FOLLOWED BY PARENTS ARE WRONG, LEADING TO CHILD OBESITY'

Article excerpt

Byline: REBECCA SMITH

CHILDREN'S future health is being put in danger because mothers are following official feeding guidelines - which are wrong.

Growth charts showing how much babies should weigh at each age milestone have overestimated how heavy healthy children should be. It means mothers have been overfeeding children to ensure they hit the weight targets.

Research by the World Health Organisation has now found that targets for two- and three-year-olds are 15 to 20 per cent too high.

The figures suggested a healthy one-year-old weighs between 22.5 and 28.5lb, when the true healthy weight is 21 to 26lb. Babies who are too fat store up health problemsfor the future including a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

A recent study found babies only need a tiny amount of extra food each day to become grossly overweight by the age of two.

Now, after a six-year study into how more than 8,000 children grew, the WHO will release new growth charts for breastfed babies.

The study co-ordinator, WHO nutrition expert Dr Mercedes de Onis, said: "By these charts, breastfed babies seem to be growing poorly from as early as two to three months. …

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