A new study has revealed that spoon-feeding babies has the potential to increase an infant’s risk of becoming obese. In addition, the study also highlighted the way in which spoon-fed babies are at much greater risk of overfeeding.
Curiously, babies that fed themselves were also notably less fussy eaters than those that had been spoon-fed.
The team behind the study has therefore urged parents to consider encouraging their babies to feed themselves during weaning, in order to prevent health and weight problems in the following years.
Speaking on behalf of the team of scientists from Swansea University, Dr. Amy Brown insisted that spoon-fed babies are more likely to fall into unhealthy eating habits and become overweight or even obese during childhood.
“Our study indicates that taking a baby-led approach to weaning may reduce a baby’s risk of being overweight as they are in control of their food intake,” her report read.
“This results in the baby being better able to control his or her appetite which could have a long-term impact upon weight gain and eating style that may continue into childhood,”
“There is increasing recognition of the role of feeding style during infancy upon how a child’s appetite and eating style develops,”
“Allowing the child to regulate their own appetite and not pressurizing them to eat more than they need is a really important step in encouraging children to develop healthy eating patterns for life,”
“This may be explained by the baby being allowed to handle foods, control their intake and eat at their own pace, alongside being exposed to a wider variety of tastes,”
“All of this may promote appetite regulation and healthy weight gain trajectories.”
The full paper has been published in the Paediatric Obesity journal.