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What do you think?

  1. #1
    jane01 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Hong Kong

    What do you think?

    I read an interesting article in today's Sydney Morning Herald:

    In summary it says that baby's on formula for the first week of their life are more likely to be obese in adulthood.

    What do you think? I have a mixed reaction:

    1. I think obesity is largely a self inflicted problem - eating too much of the wrong food and exercising too little. Mothers who breastfeed are likely to do so because they have been educated about food choices, especially that breast is best. Therefore, those mothers are likely to make better food choices for their children as they grow and their children are likely to learn good eating habits. Therefore, it has nothing to do with breastmilk, just about education and eating habits.

    That is NOT to say that people who formula feed from birth are not educated - this isn't a breast vs formula debate. There are lots of good reasons for choosing formula from day 1 and certainly not all formula fed babies grow up fat ! All I'm saying is that if you are educated about how good breastmilk is for your baby, you are more likely to give it a go.

    2. In my family (in the 1970's, not much support for b/feeding), my oldest brother and I were breastfed for 6 weeks and then switched to formula on medical advice. Neither of us are overweight (but hey, I'm no supermodel). With my youngest brother, mum's milk never came in and he was formula fed from day 1. My youngest brother is overweight, although not obese and he was never a fat child. But he drinks too much beer, so that's probably it.

    Just thought it would be interesting to hear other laymans views. I'm not medically trained nor a scientist, just an interested mum.

  2. #2
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong

    I think this is an interesting study. One of the things that is interesting is the implied over feeding of artificial milk in the first week of life. This definitely takes place if the baby isn’t exclusively breastfed.

    The first milk that the mother has is called colostrum and is much thicker, almost gel like, and much yellowier in colour because of the large amounts of beta-carotene in it. Colostrum, however, comes in drops only not in ounces. A normal colostrum meal for a newborn baby is only about 10 ml.

    This corresponds to the stomach size of a newborn:
    1 day old baby has a stomach size of 5 – 7 ml (a teaspoon)
    3 day old baby has a stomach size of 22-27 ml (size of a $1 small rubber bouncing ball)
    10 day old baby has a stomach size of 45-60 ml (size of a golf ball)
    after 10 days the size of the stomach grows much more slowly until an adult, which has a stomach size of about 900 ml (size of a soft ball)

    This increase in stomach size matches the milk volume increase of a mother who is breastfeeding. During the first few days she has only colostrum. Between day 2 and 5 the volume of her milk increases and the milk composition changes to transitional milk. By day 14 her milk will consist of mature milk with no colostum left in it.

    If a baby is bottle fed during this time rather than breastfed it will get much bigger volumes. Intuition tells us that this must have some sort of effect on the stomach size at the time and possibly a life long effect. Babies who are bottle fed in the first week are much more likely to continue with bottle feeding and so continue with large volumes of milk throughout their babyhood.

    Breast milk changes in composition. It changes throughout each feed, throughout the day and also as the baby grows older. This is very different from artificial milks – these are always the same composition and always have the same number of calories per ounce.

    A breastfeeding mother has usually reached her maximum daily capacity when the baby is around one month old. So an exclusively breastfed one month old drinks on average 750 ml a day (in 24 hours) and a six month old exclusively breastfed baby drinks about 750 ml a day.

    This is very different from a bottle fed baby which drinks more and more milk each day as it grows older. So a six month old baby will be drinking significantly more milk than a one month old baby.

    It seems that these differences would lead to differences in the way that the body handles food. So because of this I’m not surprised at the findings of the research.


    Last edited by barbwong_130; 04-20-2005 at 12:26 PM.

  3. #3
    babysheep is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hong Kong

    I dunno about this. But I believe the genetic factor is the main reason why some ppl tend to gain weight.

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