Babies lying on mom’s tummy can stave off obesity later

August 8th, 2011 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 8 (IANS) Mothers who let babies lie on their tummies after breastfeeding can help prevent obesity among them in adult years.

This helps strengthen the baby’s neck and back muscle motor movement — vital for more complicated movements such as sitting, rolling over and crawling.

As part of the Healthy Beginnings Trial, 667 first-time mothers were visited by an early childhood health nurse at the antenatal period and then when the child was one, three, five, nine and 12 month-old.

Researchers from the University of Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts conducted this trial in 2007 to gather evidence of the effectiveness of early interventions on obesity in children, according to a Sydney statement.

“This is a very important finding considering 21 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls…aged two to three years are overweight or obese,” said University of Sydney’s Li Ming Wen, who led the study.

“It looks as though if we intervene early we can actually make a difference in the long-term,” Wen added.

Chris Rissel, also from the University of Sydney, said that mothers that received the home visits also increased the daily practice of tummy time from 76 percent to 83 percent and started tummy time with their infants much earlier.

The children in the Healthy Beginnings Trial will be followed up until the age of five.

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