Babies who are taught early to drink from a cup are less likely to become obese than those who rely on a bottle for longer, a new study has found.
Babies who continued using a bottle after their first birthday were found to consume too many calories. Those still on the bottle at age 2 were 30% more likely to be obese by the age of 5.
The study involved nearly 7,000 children in the US. Researchers found that babies who still were still drinking bottles of high calorie milk after their first birthday were more likely to go on to eat a diet high in fattening foods, causing the increased weight gain.
Experts have recommended parents begin weaning their baby off the bottle and onto open cups before they reach 12 months.
“A 24-month-old girl of average weight and height who is put to bed with an 8oz bottle of whole milk would receive approximately 12% of her daily calorific needs from that bottle,” explained Rachel Gooze, from the Centre for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University, Philadelphia.