Take 5: Infant obesity

1 minute read

Overfeeding with breast milk or formula can cause infant obesity

Obesity is starting earlier, with one-quarter of Australian children aged between two to 17 currently overweight or obese.

“Prevention is much better than cure,” says Associate Professor John Sinn, a neonatologist and allergist from Royal North Shore Hospital.

“Once you’ve got those adipose tissues inbuilt you will continue having it, unfortunately.”

The first sign that an infant is becoming overweight is a rapid rise in the growth charts, he says.

Obesity is driven by protein ingestion in infants. “Overfeeding can be a problem,” says Professor Sinn.

“Overfeeding can happen with breast milk as well [as formula]. If you are feeding every two hours you can get a big baby.”


In this video, Professor Sinn answers the following questions:

– A major concern for parents is childhood obesity. Are there any prevention strategies you can recommend once they start feeding their toddler?

– What advice should GPs provide parents that have children who could be obese?

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