Using a Bottle at Age 2 Can Mean Obese by Kindergarten, Study Finds
Researchers have found many clues as to what helps make kids fat, and the latest is serving your toddler a bottle.
ABC News reports kids who are still drinking a bottle of milk at the age of 2 could end up obese by kindergarten.
In the journal Pediatrics, Temple University researchers say weaning children from the bottle by 12- to 14- months could help lower U.S. childhood obesity rates, according to the network.
One 8-ounce bottle of whole milk adds up to 150 calories -- that's 12 percent of the daily dietary needs of a healthy 2-year-old child, ABC reports.
Looking at data from 6,750 participants -- all born in 2001 -- in the Ohio Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort, the network says more than one in five kids continued to use a bottle by the time they were 2.
At 5 1/2, nearly 23 percent of those bottle users were obese, compared to 16.1 percent of those who went off the bottle at a younger age, ABC reports, adding that factors including Mom's weight, birth weight, breast-feeding and others were accounted for.
"If the bottle use is going on too long, it's serving a purpose for which it was never intended," Keith Ayoob, a registered dietician and director of the nutrition clinic at the Rose R. Kennedy Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, tells the network.
Using a bottle too long also can lead to teeth decay, Ayoob tells ABC. He says two glasses of milk a day offers "a primary source of protein and a whole bunch of other nutrients," but otherwise, kids should drink water.
Want to get the latest ParentDish news and advice? Sign up for our newsletter!
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.