Mothers to blame for child obesity: experts

Mothers

A mother's diet during pregnancy and what she feeds her baby for the first three years of its life play a large role in whether the child will grow up to beobese, experts say.

In an obesity conference in Canberra, researchers said that what a mother eats while she is pregnant and the kind of food given to babies in their initial years can determine whether they will grow up to be overweight.

"The children of women who diet during pregnancy as well as those who overeat are more likely to grow up to be overweight," said endocrinologist and Obesity Australia chief Professor John Funder, The Australian reported.

"Children fed high carbohydrate, high salt and high fat diets while they are toddlers will have their brains wired to desire these foods for the rest of their lives," said Funder.

"It may mean you are dealing with someone who is always hungry," he told News Limited.

Funder said the traditional first food of four to six month old babies - rice cereal is problematic.

"Experts say that starting a child off on a diet like this is like giving them an oral glucose tolerance test," Professor Funder said.

The best foods for a baby are mushed vegetables and mashed protein, he added.

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