Depressed low-income mums likelier to overfeed infants

   Apr 29, 11:15 am

Washington, April 29 (ANI): Researchers have found that single mothers and those with symptoms of depression are more likely to add cereal to bottles while feeding their babies, which may increase their children's risk of obesity.

The researchers say efforts to prevent obesity among low-income infants should focus not only on what babies are being fed but also the reasons behind unhealthy feeding practices.

Adding cereal to bottles is one unhealthy practice that is discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics because it may lead to overfeeding and excess weight gain in infants.

The researchers sought to determine factors associated with putting cereal in bottles among low-income, primarily Latino households in which the risk for child obesity is high.

Mothers of 254 infants were asked if they ever added cereal to bottles to help their babies sleep longer or stay full longer.

The researchers also collected information on mothers' age, language, country of origin, marital status, education and income; whether the mother had symptoms of depression; and infants' age, gender and whether the infant was felt to have strong emotional reactions (a high intensity temperament).

The data were collected as part of the larger Bellevue Project for Early Language, Literacy and Education Success (BELLE Project).

Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the BELLE Project is following infants from birth to first grade to study issues related to parenting and child development.

Results showed that 24 percent of mothers put cereal in bottles. Those with depressive symptoms were 15 times more likely to add cereal than mothers who did not have symptoms of depression.

"Depression is very common in low-income mothers and makes it more difficult to engage in beneficial parenting practices in general," said lead author and general academic pediatrics fellow Candice Taylor Lucas, MD, MPH, who also is the Alan Mendelsohn, MD, principal investigator and associate professor of pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center.

"Our results are especially concerning because they suggest that depressed mothers may be more likely to add cereal to the bottle, which may increase their children's risk of obesity."

Data also showed that mothers who were single were significantly more likely to add cereal to bottles.

"This suggests that mothers' support systems and family dynamics may influence feeding practices," said obesity researcher and fellow investigator Mary Jo Messito, MD, FAAP.

Mothers who felt that their children had intense emotional reactions to daily routines were 12 times more likely to add cereal to bottles.

"Overall, these findings demonstrate that stressors prevalent in low-income households, such as depression, single parenthood and associated infant behavioral challenges, influence feeding practices likely to promote obesity," Dr. Lucas said.

"It is important to provide support for parents related to healthy feeding practices if we are to end the epidemic of childhood obesity," it concluded.

The finding was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston. (ANI)

Damp and mould in homes put asthmatics at greater risk Aug 29, 4:03 pm
Washington, Aug 29 (ANI): A new study has revealed that damp and mould in homes could pose a significant health risk to people with asthma.
Full Story
Second hand e-cig smoke may be less harmful than regular cigarettes Aug 29, 2:25 pm
Washington, Aug 29 (ANI): A new study has demonstrated that a second-hand smoke of e- cigarette has increased levels of certain toxic metals even if they were less harmful as compared to the regular cigarettes.
Full Story
Lack of sanitation having 'staggering' effect on lives of 2.5 billion people: UN Aug 29, 11:46 am
London, Aug 29 (ANI): UN deputy secretary general, Jan Eliasson, said that lack of progress on sanitation and failure to end open defecation is taking its toll on the lives of nearly 2.5 billion people.
Full Story
College-educated youngsters likelier to use unreliable online health forums Aug 28, 1:46 pm
Washington, Aug 28 (ANI): A new study has revealed that younger college-educated consumers are likelier to take advice from unreliable online health forums.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY