Here we go again. Another study is out telling moms and dads that our kids are fat and it's all our fault. Tired of hearing these studies? Sorry guys, but this is one report you might want to read.
See, the thing is, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are now saying American kids are fat because of what we're doing to them as babies. And you might be surprised by their findings ... because this isn't just one thing that some moms and dads do!
After studying a group of low-income parents, the scientists have come up with a whole list of mistakes parents commonly make with baby that can start them off on a lifetime of battling the bulge. The list is so long, in fact, that chances are good that you're doing AT LEAST one thing on the list! Heck, I'll even admit I did one!
Don't think I could possibly mean you? Take a look ...
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1. Putting baby to bed with a bottle -- A whopping 43 percent of parents fessed up to doing this, despite the risks of choking, cavities, and over-eating! Not to mention it teaches kids to use food as comfort.
2. Propping the bottle instead of holding it -- Sure, it's more convenient, but if you're tuned out while baby's got a bottle propped in their mouth, you're not gauging how much they're eating. Not to mention there are increased risks of choking, tooth decay, and even ear infections! But 23 percent of parents admitted they do it!
3. Letting baby watch TV -- Not only do scientists blame TV-watching for hurting baby's speech and cognition, but it sets your child up to be a little coach potato who doesn't get enough exercise. So what'd the study find? Ninety percent of infants are exposed to TV! And 50 percent are active watchers.
4. Feeding solids before 4 months -- Think that cereal in the bottle will get them to sleep? Research has shown that a baby who eats solids before 4 months old is also six times more likely to be obese by age 3. How soon after birth we start on solids has been found to affect our weight gain over the next 20 YEARS of life. And yet, 12 percent of parents in the UNC study admitted they do it!
5. Feeding baby when they cry -- Babies cry for a lot of reasons. They're hungry. They're tired. They're wet. They're over-stimulated. They want some cuddles. So why is that 20 percent of parents ALWAYS feed baby when they're crying? Learn the different cries, Mom and Dad!
6. Forcing baby to finish a bottle -- Some 38 percent of parents force their infants to finish a bottle of food. It certainly hearkens back to being told to clean your plate when you were a kid, but it's not wise. Kids need to take heed of their own hunger cues and stop eating when they're no longer hungry ... even babies!
Be honest -- have you made any of the mistakes on the list? Even just once?
Image via Arman Zhenikeyev/Corbis