Common Sense Prevails As Research Confirms Link Between When Solids Are Given And Diabetes

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baby eating high shcairPaging Captain Doctor Obvious! I just read something that I honestly thought was already common knowledge. My oldest child’s pediatrician suggested this to me 10 years ago, and though I’ve heard arguments against it, it just seemed to make sense.

New research is suggesting that babies who receive their first bit of solids foods either late or early (before four months or after six months) have a higher change of developing type one diabetes.

In general, according to a study that appeared this week in JAMA Pediatrics, type one diabetes is on the rise, especially in children under the age of five. The study looked at 1,835 children who had an increased genetic risk for type one diabetes. Researchers followed each child from birth until age five and assessed their diets.

The study concluded that babies who were given solid foods either too early or too late had an increased risk of developing the disease (out of the study group, 53 children were eventually diagnosed with type one diabetes). Researchers noted that babies who had early exposure to fruits and later exposure to oats or rice also had an increased risk. Breastfeeding corresponded with a lower risk.

According to Brittni Frederiksen, from the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado:

“Our data suggest multiple foods/antigens play a role and that there is a complex relationship between the timing and type of infant food exposures and [type 1 diabetes] risk.”

As common sense as this may seem, the study only found an association between the age of introduction and this disease, and not the actual cause and effect. The study group is probably too small to determine anything concrete.

Not to get too smug, but I’m super glad my kid’s pediatrician was a head of the game when it came to this kind of information, because this is exactly what I did with my kids when they were babies, at his suggestion. And considering how many people I had tell me to start giving them rice or whatever in their bottles at like three weeks old (to help them sleep!) AND the fact that type one diabetes runs in my family, I’m relieved that I listened to my doctor and not some random people who thought they were helping.

(Photo: taran4uk / Shutterstock)