Parents are probably aware by now that a big concern about keeping your baby on the bottle too long is tooth decay. Now, it seems a long term bottle could trigger a bigger problem than tooth trouble.
New York nutrition researchers studied the feeding habits of nearly 100 little ones between 18 months and three and a half years, and they say the bottle drinkers were more likely to be obese or anemic than toddlers who were off the bottle. Partly because a bottle packs in the calories and toddlers on the bottle are likely to be eating food too, so those kids are getting mega-meals. Also, the calcium and proteins in milk can influence how well the body absorbs iron, which helps explain the higher rate of anemia in toddlers still taking a bottle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that parents get kids off the bottle by 16 months, but this new study suggests it would be healthier for babies to be off the bottle by their first birthday.
The study also found a higher risk of anemia in toddlers who were drinking several bottles a day. The study found 64% of the children received at least three bottles of milk or sweet drinks a day, with some parents reporting their children had up to 10 bottles.
Richard Kahn of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, and was presented at130th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.