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Prolonged Bottle Use Linked With Childhood Obesity

Children who use a bottle at 24 months are more likely to be obese at 5.5 years of age

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Prolonged bottle use up to 24 months is independently associated with obesity at age 5.5 years, according to a study published online May 5 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Rachel A. Gooze, M.P.H., from Temple University in Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed the correlation between prolonged bottle use and the risk of obesity in children aged 5.5 years. Data were analyzed for 6,750 U.S. children born in 2001 who were part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort. Obesity (body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile) was measured at 5.5 years of age, and bottle use was assessed by parental report at 24 months.

The investigators found that 22.3 percent of children were using a bottle at age 24 months. The prevalence of obesity was 17.6 percent at 5.5 years, and was 22.9 percent in those children who were still using a bottle at 24 months compared with 16.1 percent in those who were not. After adjusting for confounders, including sociodemographics, maternal obesity, maternal smoking, breast-feeding, age of introduction of solids, and children's weight status at birth and 9 months, prolonged bottle use was correlated with an increased risk of obesity (odds ratio, 1.33).

"Prolonged bottle use was associated with obesity after accounting for many potentially confounding factors," the authors conclude.

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