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Obesity, Weight Gain and Infant Diet
Is Childhood Obesity Caused by Appetite Development in New Born Babies
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Obesity, Weight Gain & Babies Diet

Obesity Study - Aim
An obesity study is being carried out by a research team in Cambridge to find out if obesity in later life may be caused by the way appetite develops in new born babies. Until now there has been little research looking at the possibility that obesity might be linked to the content of diet at an early age. The Cambridge researchers think that the nerves and hormones that control appetite may develop differently depending on the type of food eaten, which may in turn effect the way we eat in later life.

Obesity Study - Method
The research team will feed one set of new born rats with a standard diet, and then feed another set with a high calorie diet, to find out how the body develops differently in the two groups. Once the differences have been identified, scientists hope that in the long term it will help determine the best diet to feed babies to promote healthy weight maintenance and avoid weight gain in adult life.

Obesity Study - Underweight
There is already evidence to suggest that the rate of development in a newborn baby may have long-term health effects. Research has shown that being underweight at birth, followed by rapid growth to an average weight by the age of seven, also increases risk of CHD.

Obesity Study - Results
Obesity is an increasing problem in the UK. It is well established that diet is closely linked to weight gain/loss and subsequently the development of coronary heart disease. The results could help parents choose the correct diet for their children and that may help them avoid obesity or weight gain in later life.

Source: British Heart Foundation Oct 2002 Press Release

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