-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Nutritional counseling for
new mothers can help reduce their child's risk of obesity, a new
American and Brazilian researchers looked at 345 low-income
mother-child pairs in Brazil who were randomly assigned to either
an intervention or control group.
The mothers in the intervention group received 10 in-home
counseling sessions in the year after they gave birth. During the
visits, the mothers were given advice about breast-feeding and
proper introduction of complementary foods. They were also advised
to avoid energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods such as soft drinks,
sweets, salty snacks and fried foods.
The children were assessed when they were 6 months, 12 to 16
months, and 3 to 4 years old. By the end of the study, only 10
percent of all the children in the study had healthy dietary
However, those in the intervention group ate more fruits and
vegetables and had a more varied diet. They also consumed lower
amounts of high-cholesterol foods.
Children who consumed the worst diets were more likely to be
overweight than those with the healthiest diets -- 34 percent vs.
The researchers concluded that nutritional counseling for
mothers during their child's first year of life can strongly
influence the child's eating habits. These findings may have
important implications for public health policy.
The study appears in the November issue of
The Journal of Nutrition.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about
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