Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 24th 2014 Contents black mothers had.
Compared with white parents, black par-
ents were twice as likely to put children to
bed with a bottle and three times as likely
to prop a bottle on something like a blanket
during feeding instead of holding it.
Hispanic parents were about twice as
likely as whites to encourage children to
finish the contents of the bottle and to prop
the bottle. Dr Alma Guerrero, a pediatrics
professor from Mattel Children Hospital
UCLA in California, called the findings on
the amount of time babies spent in front
of television "astonishing." Guerrero agreed
the results underscore the need for early
counseling across ethnic groups. "It high-
lights the point that families from all races
and ethnicities need counseling on early
infancy feeding and activity behaviors," she
told Reuters Health.
Guerrero, who was not involved in the
current study, recently began work on a
five-year study of dietary behaviors that
lead to obesity in Latino children between
six months and five years old. The results
of the current study led Guerrero to consider
looking at even younger babies, she said.
Perrin said she hoped that clinicians could
use data from her study to target counseling
for newborn parents based on their ethnic
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1mfJ0lS Pediatrics,
online March 17, 2014. (Reuters)
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, March 24, 2014
A baby being
Obesity prevention efforts directed at infants
may not work if cultural differences in childcare
are not taken into account, suggests a new US
Researchers found specific practices thought to
promote childhood obesity---from putting infants to
bed with bottles to feeding them while watching
television---were more common in certain racial and
ethnic groups compared to others.
"Rather than focus on the ethnic and racial dif-
ferences, these results show us that we can all do
better and begin our efforts to prevent obesity earlier
in life," lead author Dr Eliana Perrin told Reuters
"I m hoping this study is a wakeup call that families
of all races and ethnicities need early counseling to
lead healthier lives," said Perrin, a pediatrician and
professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel
Hill School of Medicine.
More than one quarter of US children aged two
to five years old are overweight or obese, according
to Perrin and her coauthors, whose results are pub-
lished in Pediatrics.
Early weight problems are linked to an increasing
likelihood of obesity---and all its attendant health
risks---as kids grow into teens and adults.
Perrin s team enrolled 863 parents who brought
their infants to one of four university-affiliated pedi-
atric clinics for a two-month-old preventive services
visit. The researchers asked parents about a variety
of behaviors that have been linked to childhood obe-
sity in previous research.
Most of the participating parents were mothers
and the questions covered topics including what
infants ate, how the food was given to them, activities
parents performed during or around mealtime and
measures of babies physical activity levels.
The researchers found that more than 80 per cent
of the two-month-olds had been introduced to for-
mula, and 12 per cent had been fed solid food,
although the American Academy of Pediatricians
(AAP) urges mothers to feed their babies breast milk
exclusively for the first six months.
More than one third of parents reported coaxing
their babies to finish drinking bottles, and nearly a
quarter propped bottles in their infants cribs or
Nearly half the parents reported watching television
while feeding their infants, and 43 per cent reported
putting their babies to bed with a bottle.
Half the infants in the study actively watched an
average of 25 minutes a day of TV, although the AAP
discourages television for children under the age of
"Most pediatricians don t talk about television
until a baby is at least 12 to 15 months old. I think
this study tells us we need to talk about television
early on in a baby s life," Perrin said.
"The message should be talk with your babies,
play with your babies, allow your babies to begin to
prop themselves up in a safe space, try not to have
them watch television and try to notice when you re
feeding them whether they re hungry or full, " she
said. Babies who get food every time they cry and
are prodded to eat when they are sated may learn
to reach for food whenever they feel any kind of
need, Perrin said. When the researchers looked at
the unhealthy behaviors by racial and ethnic group,
no single group was free of the bad habits, but some
were more common in certain cultures compared to
Hispanic infants watched an average of 11 minutes
of television a day, for example, whereas white children
watched an average of 24 minutes and African-
American children watched an average of 51 minutes.
Less than four per cent of Hispanic parents had
introduced their infants to solid foods, whereas 16
per cent of white mothers and nearly a quarter of
Start counseling on infant feeding
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Links Archive March 23rd 2014 March 25th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page