Babies who are still bottle-fed by the age of two are at risk of becoming overweight by the time they start school, a new report in the Journal of Pediatrics has claimed.
The researchers from the universities of Ohio and Philadelphia found that children who were still fed bottled drinks at 24-months old were 30 per cent more likely to be obese by five-and-a-half. The scientists claim parent's should be encouraged to stop using a bottle by the child's first birthday due to the risk of over feeding.
The study's co-author, Rachel Gooze, from the Centre for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, sad: "A 24-month-old girl of average weight and height who is put to bed with an eight-ounce bottle of whole milk would receive approximately 12% per cent of her daily caloric needs from that bottle."
The findings are supported by the Royal College of Midwives. The organisation's professional policy advisor Janet Fyle told the BBC: "If the child is continuing to use a bottle then the mother may be tempted to put something else in it like a sugary drink or rusk with milk. Then the child gets used to sweet things in their diet.
"Babies should be introduced to a cup or beaker from six months and off a bottle completely by one year."
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