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Child Care May Lead to Unwanted Weight Gain in Infants
Date:7/7/2008

er than 3 months old, 39.3 percent began child care when they were between 3 and 5.9 months old, and 20.7 percent began child care when they were 6 months or older.

Children who started child care when they were younger than 3 months old were less likely to be breast-fed and more likely to start solid foods, compared with children cared for by parents.

Moreover, children in part-time child care gained about 0.4 more pounds over nine months than infants cared for by their parents. And children who were cared for by relatives gained about 0.35 more pounds, were also introduced to solid food early, and were less likely to be breast-fed, the researchers said.

Early introduction to solid food and lack of breast-feeding are established factors for weight gain, Kim and Peterson noted.

"Our study results provide new evidence that child care influences both infant feeding practices and risk of overweight at least during infancy," the study authors wrote. "Thus, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which these early child care factors and infant feeding practices affect subsequent risk for childhood overweight."

The study findings were published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Katz said: "Factors such as economic challenges, lack of spouse or supportive family nearby, long and inflexible work hours, might be the root causes for differential weight gain among newborns. The only reliable way to address such potentially deep-seated causes of childhood obesity is to ensure that knowledge of healthful eating, and access to affordable, healthful choices, is the norm both at home and everywhere else."

Another report in the same issue of the journal found that adults who had good nutrition in early childhood score better on intelligence tests, regardless of how many years they spent in school.

For the study, U.S. researchers gave so
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