Posted February 25, 2019 04:08:30 Babies born with the disorder may have a hard-time swallowing because of their small mouths, a new study has found.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests the problem may be linked to an overabundance of sugars in the baby’s diet.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, examined the diet of children born between March and December 1979 and compared it with that of the children born before that time.
The results showed a strong correlation between how many sugars were consumed in the diet and the child’s growth, development and weight.
The researchers compared the intake of both types of sugars to the children’s weight at the time of birth.
“It was clear that there were some differences in the babies’ weight from birth to birth, and it was very clear that the sugar intake during the first months of life was associated with their weight and development,” lead researcher Robert Raskin, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco and an expert on obesity, said in a statement.
“This led us to hypothesize that the amount of sugar in the infant’s diet was the likely source of this discrepancy in growth and development.”
The study found that children who ate high-sugar foods like cereal, rice and pasta were significantly heavier than those who ate fewer sugars.
The children who were the biggest eaters at two weeks of age were also the heaviest.
The other key finding was that the children who had a higher consumption of sugar during the period of their growth had an increased risk of obesity later in life.
“We found that babies who had more sugar in their diet during early childhood were more likely to have a high body mass index later in adulthood,” Raskins said.
The link between sugar and weight is known as the “nutritional paradox” because it shows how the amount and types of sugar can influence a child’s body weight.
Raskis said the findings are consistent with other studies showing that a baby who eats too much sugar in its early life is more likely than one who does not to have an excessive weight later in childhood.
“Theoretically, this means if you’re a very high-calorie eater, you’re going to be able to increase your body weight later,” Rasks said.
“That’s not the case.”
The researchers added that a recent study found the children whose mothers consumed the most sugar during pregnancy had the highest risk of having children with obesity later on in life compared to those who did not.
The research was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes on Aging, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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