After analyzing the week-long dietary patterns of 1,555 babies (760 boys and 795 girls) at ages 6 and 12 months old, the authors of the study found that their mothers’ education and income levels were linked to the type of foods that the babies were fed. Mothers with less education and lower incomes were much more likely to feed their babies foods high in sugar, fat and protein, whereas babies with more educated, richer mothers were more likely to have diets that were closer to recommended infant feeding guidelines. Poor diets early on can lead to childhood weight gain and stunted growth.
Xiaozhong Wen, a UB Department of Pediatrics professor and the lead author of the study, said:
“Dietary patterns are harder to change later if you ignore the first year, a critical period for the development of taste preferences and the establishment of eating habits.”
In other words, babies that eat like shit will likely become adults who eat like shit, leading to higher risk for obesity, heart disease and other health problems related to diet later in life. Some of the food that the researchers found poor babies eating were ice cream, candy, sugary drinks and French fries. Babies from socioeconomically disadvantaged households are fed foods high in sugar and fat because they’re cheaper, the researchers boldly hypothesized.
“If you tend to offer healthy foods, even those with a somewhat bitter taste to infants, such as pureed vegetables, they will develop a liking for them. But if you always offer sweet or fatty foods, infants will develop a strong preference for them or even an addiction to them,” Wen said.
My solution for baby mamas who think they can’t afford nutritious meals for their young‘uns: dog food. (If you do end up feeding your baby dog food, don’t blame me for their death/fleas/lycanthropy.)
Originally written by Alan Van for NextShark