Putting babies in childcare ‘makes them fatter’

Telegraph (UK) 07 July 2008

Babies who are placed in childcare are fatter than those cared for by only their parents, research suggests. The study of more than 8,000 children found that those in part-time childcare gained an average of 0.4 pounds (175g) more weight by the time they were nine months old than those cared for by their parents. Those who were cared for by other relatives gained 0.35 pounds (162g) more weight. It is thought children placed in childcare before they are three months old are less likely to have been breastfed and more likely to have been weaned onto solid foods at an earlier age.

Previous studies have shown that babies who are breastfed tend to have lower body weights. It is also thought that formula feeding and the early introduction of solid food may predispose children to obesity. The study, published in the JAMA Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, said three quarters of children receive some form of childcare by people other than their parents before they are one year old.