Navigation Links
Baby knows best! Study shows baby-led weaning promotes healthy food preferences
Date:2/9/2012

A new study by psychologists at The University of Nottingham has shown that babies who are weaned using solid finger food are more likely to develop healthier food preferences and are less likely to become overweight as children than those who are spoon-fed pureed food.

The research just published by BMJ Open set out to examine the impact of weaning style on food preferences and Body Mass Index in early childhood in a sample of 155 children.

Co-author of the study, Associate Professor in the School of Psychology, Dr Ellen Townsend, said: "Although numerous studies have focused on when to introduce solid foods into an infant's diet there is a dearth of evidence concerning the impact of different weaning methods on food preferences and health prospects. We believe our report is the first piece of research to examine whether weaning method can influence food preferences and the future health of the child."

Co-researcher Dr Nicola Pitchford, added: "Our study has produced some very interesting findings. The research suggests that baby-led weaning has a positive impact on the liking of foods that form the building blocks of healthy nutrition, such as carbohydrates. Baby-led weaning promotes healthy food preferences in early childhood which may protect against obesity."

The researchers enlisted the Nottingham Toddler Lab, based in the School of Psychology, and various relevant websites to recruit parent volunteers for the study. They all had children between the ages of 20 months and 6 years and agreed to complete a questionnaire about their experiences of infant feeding and weaning style. 92 parents used baby-led weaning in which the baby is allowed to feed him or herself from a range of solid finger food after the age of 6 months. 63 parents surveyed used traditional spoon-feeding in which they fed their babies smooth purees and increased the texture and range of foods as they grew.

The study also examined the child's preference for 151 different types of food in the common food categories of carbohydrates, proteins and dairy etc. It also took into account the frequency of consumption of each food type and the effect of age on food preference.

Between the two weaning groups, significant differences in preference were found for only one food category the baby-led group liked carbohydrates more than the spoon-fed group. In fact, carbohydrates was the most liked food category for the baby-led group whereas sweet foods was most liked by the spoon-fed group.

The psychologists believe that understanding the factors that contribute to healthy nutrition in early childhood is crucial as this could be the best time to modify food preferences to encourage healthy diets. The findings show that baby-led weaning has a positive impact on the liking of carbohydrates - foods that form the building blocks of healthy nutrition. This is a significant result since, up to now, the factors thought to be most influential on early food preferences are sweetness and frequency of exposure.

It was found that children's preference and rate of exposure to foods were not influenced by socially desirable responding, i.e. parents putting down what they think they should report, or socio-economic status, although an increased liking of vegetables was associated with higher social class. There was an increased incidence of underweight children in the baby-led group and higher obesity rates in the spoon-fed group. But, no difference in picky eating was found between the two weaning groups.

The research project concludes that weaning style does have an impact on food preferences and health in early childhood. The results suggest that infants weaned through the baby-led method learn to regulate their food intake in a way which leads to a lower BMI and a preference for healthy foods like carbohydrates. The research team believe their work has important implications for combating the well-documented rise of obesity in contemporary society.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Rayner
emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. From the beginning, the brain knows the difference between night and day
2. The brain knows what the nose smells, but how? Stanford researchers trace the answer
3. Study indicates that induced labor may not lower risk of infection or respiratory problems in newborns
4. NIH study links high levels of cadmium, lead in blood to pregnancy delay
5. New study sheds light on genetics of rice metabolism
6. Study shows electron-beam irradiation reduces virus-related health risk in lettuce, spinach
7. A zap of cold plasma reduces harmful bacteria on raw chicken in Drexel study
8. Heat and cold damage corals in their own ways, Scripps study shows
9. Satellite study reveals critical habitat and corridors for worlds rarest gorilla
10. Body clock receptor linked to diabetes in new genetic study
11. Genetics study reveals how bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced ... new role of principal product architect and that ... director of customer development. Both will report directly ... officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in ... to high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016 Paris ... Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of people ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international ... and services, announced today that its video security solution will ... to back up public safety across the country. The system ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased ... and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June 23, 2016 ... trading session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial ... S&P 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), ... Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about ...
Breaking Biology Technology: