Babies living on junk food at just five months old: study0
Can you have a sweet tooth before you start teething?
Researchers have found babies living on junk food in the U.K. before they can even chew.
Scientists at Leeds Beckett University studying the diets of 1,250 infants in Bradford found that many parents give chips and soft drinks to children as young as five months old.
One child’s first baby teeth came in black because the infant had been regularly given soda in its bottle.
Lead researcher Pinki Sahota noted low-educated mothers in the community were dishing out the worst diets.
While older, more educated moms and dads knew to put more fruits and vegetables on their kids’ plates, she said, teenage mothers were turning to French fries and potato chips.
“A lot of them have not got the cooking skills,” Sahota told the Daily Mail. “Parents are giving kids junk food because they are eating it themselves.”
One mother told researchers she didn’t cook much at home because it was quicker and cheaper to feed them fast food. “We send [the kids]down the road to get burger, chips and a drink for 99 pence,” she said.
Professor Sahota, the chair of the Association for the Study of Obesity, is calling for more education for parents, and for the food industry to reformulate its high-fat and high-sugar products to be healthier.
“Childhood obesity is a growing problem, she told the Mirror. “More than a fifth of children starting school are overweight or obese.”