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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You Won't Believe These 8 Things That Low Income Parents Do That Cause Their Babies to Become Obese


A recent study by the Journal of the American Association of Pediatrics examined infant care practices (2 months old) among low-income parents and found some interesting results. The study involved nearly 900 low-income parents who participated in the study at four different health centers. What the parents were doing is believed to be increasing the possibility of their children being overweight.

What low income parents are doing wrong

Many behaviors among this low-income group, of which about 86 percent are receiving Medicaid benefits, were found to be clearly among practices that lead to obesity. For example:

#1 - 90 percent of the infants were in homes exposed to the television for 346 minutes a day
#2 - 50 percent of the infants were actively watching television with the parents
#3 - Twice as many babies were given formula instead of breast milk
#4 - 43 percent of the parents put their babies to bed with bottles
#5 - 23 percent propped the bottles up in the baby's bed, a practice that can lead to overfeeding
#6 - 20 percent said they fed their babies whenever they cried
#7 - 38 percent tried to get their babies to finish their milk
#8 - 66 percent did not put babies on their tummies to encourage exercise

It all leads to overfeeding their babies

The problem with these practices is that they can all lead to overfeeding babies. Formula, for example, flows more freely from the bottle than breast milk does from the breast, so baby eats more. Tummy time for babies, often missing in low-income families, is when the baby is encouraged to lay on his or her stomach. It's like exercise time when the baby can lift their heads to strengthen their necks and upper backs. Other practices are simply encouraging babies to eat more than they need.

Is race a factor?

The study showed some differences in parental behavior by race. For example, African American parents were far more likely to put their babies to bed with a bottle or prop the bottle. They also spent more time watching television. Hispanic parents were more likely to try to get their babies to finish their milk. But most all of the low-income parents in the study showed similar infant care behavior. According to the Journal of the American Association of Pediatrics who authored the study, behaviors thought to relate to later obesity were highly prevalent among the low-income parents included in this study.
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