Spoon feed babies are more likely to become obese

(112 Posts)
clairikins Wed 08-Jan-14 21:12:01
meditrina Wed 08-Jan-14 21:15:04

Another DM link.

I haven't clicked it as Ai don't wan to give them th traffic.

But I'm ready to bet they're not looking at longitudinal data from early and mid twentieth century properly.

NCISaddict Wed 08-Jan-14 21:21:12

Must tell my spoon fed DC's, aged 17, 20 and 21 they are the definition of a line, length without breadth.

gretagrape Thu 09-Jan-14 07:57:03

ALL babies are more likely to be obese today and it's got nothing to do with spoon feeding and everything to do with lack of education, complacency and laziness - all you have to do is walk down the high street at 10am and you'll see toddlers eating crisps, sausage rolls and sweets. It's a ridiculous story. How come my generation or my parents' aren't overweight? Maybe because whether we ate with a spoon or our fingers, we ate good, mostly natural food in healthy quantities.

We are bombarded with 'news'papers that continually spout out crap about what we should be eating, pointless unsustainable diets, which celebrity has had the cheek to put on half an ounce, or which food has become a 'superfood' one day then branded as cancer-causing the next. DM is hideous - I wouldn't even accept a free copy to put in our litter tray.

TheGreatHunt Thu 09-Jan-14 08:01:54

There are studies, I'm sure that have proven this. It was reported in the BBC. Same thing as with formula feeding.

There's no point people trotting out saying "my children aren't obese" because that doesn't prove anything.

Formula feeding and spoon feeding mean that parents are more likely to override the "feeling full" mechanism. Think about it - how many want their babies to finish the bottle/bowl of food and use tricks to get it in them (be it lengthening the gaps between feeds so baby guzzles the lot, or spoon feeding quickly or doing the aeroplane or sticking them in front of the tv).

How many of us were taught to finish our plates? I hate that mentality as people eat everything on the plate. Serve up smaller portions instead then ask for more. Don't finish it because it is there.

We are getting fatter and how we feed our babies will be one of the reasons.

NCISaddict Thu 09-Jan-14 08:12:29

An interesting review of the research this article is referring to. www.nhs.uk/news/2014/01January/Pages/Spoon-feeding-link-to-child-obesity-not-proven.aspx

I was taught to clear my plate, and have issues with food and being overweight because of it. I'm dealing with them now, but I'm 35 and need to lose 3 stone.

I home cook nearly all our food, and allow DC's to eat as much or as little as they want. The 2 older ones are slim, but not skinny. Baby is chubster, but I think she's supposed to be at 13 months! Hopefully she'll turn out like the others. My eldest is on the "Healthy Schools" team at school, and she is manic about healthy eating (aged 6), will eat one square of a chocolate bar and save the rest for later. Can't quite believe she's mine actually, but I have vivid memories of the 48 hour back-to-back labour...

TheGreatHunt Thu 09-Jan-14 08:29:25

That's interesting NCIS, thank you. I temper my original reply then - not proven but there is an association and more research needed. However I think spoon feeding is a bad idea for the reasons in my earlier post.

ArgyMargy Thu 09-Jan-14 08:36:16

Total and utter bollocks.

Frusso Thu 09-Jan-14 08:41:27

Load of tosh! I have 3 dcs. The eldest is underweight --and being monitored). It just so happens that the eldest was the only one spoonfed as a baby.
The DM spouts rubbish.

meditrina Thu 09-Jan-14 08:44:20

The NHS link shows how the newspapers are, once again, reporting science badly.

Footle Thu 09-Jan-14 09:00:57

6 yr old "manic about healthy eating"?

My FF fed (not from choice, but because she loathed BF) DD1 is heavier than my very long term BF DD2.

(Size 12 and size 6 adult clothes at 13)

Both were spoon fed, I'd never heard of BLW.

However, it is not that simple, specific examples rather than averages are not.

DD2 fell off the graph around 4 months and refused to take a bottle. She was weaned at 5 months straight on to yoghurt and fruit purée, food wasn't fun, it was life saving. She instinctively knew this, she was hungry and she ate. Once she reach the 50% line at age 1, she got fussier and ate far less.

She drove me mad wasting food and eating tiny portions, but in retrospect I think she'd learnt to listen to what her body needs. I think we offer small DCs too much food.

NCISaddict Thu 09-Jan-14 09:12:06

I think family's where home cooking and sensible portion sizes are the norm are far less likely to become obese regardless of the type of weaning followed.
I grew up being expected to finish a plate but portions were never huge and all food was home cooked with small amounts of sugar (the benefit of having parents who were adults during rationing so learnt to cook using very small amounts of sugar) none of us were overweight. I remained 9.5 stone until I was over 40 and can see why I put on weight then looking at my activity levels and diet now.

I think that the increase in carb/sugar rich food that we eat now, including access to 'exotic' fruits all the year round contribute to obesity in children even in families who think about the importance of diet for their children.

As a child I was given fruit every day but it wasn't unlimited and had far more veg which is generally lower in sugar.

gretagrape Thu 09-Jan-14 09:18:03

TheGreatHunt - I agree with some of your sentiments, but again it comes down to lack of education and effort. It is up to parents to ensure that their babies aren't overfed or brought up to see food as an emotional issue from the very beginning and that healthy isn't seen as 'good' and unhealthy as 'bad'.

I agree that people pointing to individual children being skinny doesn't prove the point but the stats are there to show that horrendous proportions of children are obese now compared to 20 years ago and I don't think you can say that that is down to formula and spoon feeding - as a parent you have total control over what your child eats and if you choose to make healthy food the normal choice from the start then your child won't crave salty, sugary food - no-one makes these parents put a sausage roll instead of a banana in their child's hand.

We are getting fatter and how we feed our babies will be one of the reasons. True, but I think that has more to do with crisps and burgers than using a spoon.

HowlingTrap Thu 09-Jan-14 09:19:54

aren't all weaning babies spoon fed?

If i ever have no.3 I'll just cover the high chair tray is pureed food and let him eat it with his hands, in the name of good health and all that grin

clairikins Thu 09-Jan-14 09:39:36

I have never fed my child or given her purreed food. She has fed herself proper food from the start. I got grief from my HV for it, being told that my child will drop her weight and get sick. She thrived.

Purreeing and spoon feeding foods is completely unnecessary for a healthy child

HowlingTrap Thu 09-Jan-14 09:49:21

what like 6 month olds?

what are we talking here?\

What about 1 year olds who like to throw food around and need to be fed, do we just starve them?

Rooners Thu 09-Jan-14 10:04:40

I haven't clicked on the link but I would imagine that a lot of people (sadly) try and force their children's food into their mouths when using a spoon.

This will kind of override the child's natural 'stop' switch, so they are less likely to be able to assess when to stop eating when they get older.

that's kind of my theory anyway.
I do use a spoon to help my child eat yogurt and so on, at a year old - but when he doesn't want any more, I stop, and let him do whatever he is interested in.

I would never, ever force food into his mouth. But I have seen it happen a lot. I would even go as far as to say sometimes people are encouraged to try and get the baby to eat as much as possible before 'giving up', with concerns about their not being fed enough and losing weight being fairly strong especially in the minds of new parents.

Mine have all (three) existed largely on milk for the first couple of years at least, with very little food making its way in.

But I have a history of anorexia and a family who overeat, and really, I can't think of anything worse than being forced to eat. So perhaps I am too laid back about it.

Rooners Thu 09-Jan-14 10:06:25

Sorry, I've just read TheGreatHunt's post which says exactly what I wanted to say, but better.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

clairikins Thu 09-Jan-14 10:15:57

Yes I started weaning my child at 6mo. And a one year old will not starve unless you spoon feed them

HowlingTrap Thu 09-Jan-14 10:30:49

if there poorly and off their food?

its different with an older child who is more robust, but you cannot in good conscience neglect children under the age of 2/3 years old because of something like that.

TheGreatHunt Thu 09-Jan-14 10:56:54

The research is showing that there is a link between how we feed our children and appetite control. Also to weight (but not to obesity - now I've read the link) although it tails off as the kids get older.

Tbh I think the biggest problem is the level of sugar and lack of exercise.

meditrina Thu 09-Jan-14 11:07:26

The research isn't showing the link at all.

It found the majority of toddlers in the study were normal weight, regardless of weaning.

It relied on maternal recall about feeding methods (notoriously unreliable) and stated that more research was needed. The "link" was the study authors' hypothesis of something for future consideration.

CornishYarg Thu 09-Jan-14 12:29:34

The Analytical Armadillo wrote a good (imo!) balanced piece about the BMJ research a couple of years ago which made similar conclusions. Well worth a read.

www.analyticalarmadillo.co.uk/2012/02/does-spoon-feeding-predispose-babies-to.html?m=1

One point that she makes which made sense to me was that we are able to eat more food when it's blended. So babies eating a fruit puree, for example, will eat more fruit (and hence sugar) than if they ate fruit in its natural state.

Howling trap, my son self fed from the start with no issues. Yes, he threw some about when he was 1 but he still ate plenty. And yes, when he is ill he goes off his food but surely spoonfeeding wouldn't suddenly make him want food - he would jus refuse that too. He always makes up for it when he feels better and was in no danger of starving! Don't forget that babies who self feed from the start aren't familiar with being spoonfed so it wouldn't be a comforting thing for them when they're unwell.

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