Doctors can influence when parents wean children from bottle, study finds

July 12, 2010

TORONTO, Ont., July 12, 2010--Family doctors and pediatricians can influence when parents wean their children from the bottle, thereby helping to reduce tooth decay, obesity and iron deficiency, according to a new study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Only five minutes of advice at the nine-month "well baby" checkup about the dangers of prolonged bottle use resulted in a dramatic, 60-percent drop in the number of babies still using the bottle at age two, said Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician at St. Michael's and lead author of the study.

Most of the babies whose parents received the advice stopped using the bottle by their first birthday, compared to 16 months for babies whose parents received no instruction, Maguire said. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends complete bottle weaning for healthy children by 15 months, but Maguire said many doctors and parents are not aware of this. Many parents continue bottle feeding well past that time, even until their children are three or four years old.

"If physicians counsel parents of young infants about the dangers of prolonged bottle use and when to stop using the bottle, the counseling actually works," said Maguire, whose research appears in the current issue of Pediatrics, the leading journal in the field.

"This shows it's possible for health professionals to positively influence the health behaviour of young children before they develop unhealthy habits and will hopefully lead to healthier children and healthier adults that they become."

Maguire and his colleagues from SickKids, Drs. Patricia Parkin and Catherine Birken, have created TARGet Kids!, an ongoing study of children's health and development in collaboration with community-based pediatricians and family physicians. It involves the largest database of inner-city children in Canada. Maguire is also an associate staff physician and adjunct scientist at SickKids.

"We and others have previously found an association between prolonged bottle feeding (beyond 16 months) and iron deficiency. Iron deficiency occurs in about 30 per cent of Ontario toddlers and is associated with developmental delays, behavioural problems and poorer school achievement, and, in rare cases, strokes," said Parkin, senior author of the study, staff physician and senior associate Scientist at SickKids, and associate professor in the department of paediatrics at the University of Toronto.

Eighty-six percent of parents whose children were still using the bottle after age two said it was because the child preferred the bottle over the sippy cup. Maguire said the older children are, the more difficult it becomes to modify their behaviour.

"By the time they reach two, it becomes very difficult for parents to transition their children away from the bottle," he said. "It needs to be done at a younger age when children's behaviour is more easily modified."
-end-
The research published in Pediatrics refers to children who drink milk and juice from bottles; most infant formula is fortified with iron. The families involved in the research were patients of three pediatricians in downtown Toronto.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who walk through its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael's Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About The Hospital for Sick Children

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world's foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada's leading centre dedicated to advancing children's health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada's most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is proud of its vision of Healthier Children. A Better World.™ For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca.

St. Michael's Hospital

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.