Starting solid foods too soon linked to early obesity

February 7, 2011 8:49:20 AM PST
Formula-fed babies who start eating solid foods before they are 4 months old may be more likely to become overweight later in life.

Researchers in Boston tracked about 850 babies and their mothers over three years. Babies who were breastfed for at least four months had a one in 14 chance of being obese at age 3, regardless of when they first received solid food.

But, babies who were fed formula had a one in four chance of being obese at age 3, if they started eating solid foods before they were 4 months old.

If parents waited until between 4 and 5 months, the child's chance of being obese was one in 20.

The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, support US guidelines that suggest parents wait until babies are between 4 and 6 months old to start feeding them solid foods.