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Study: What babies eat after birth determines obesity risk

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - It's an important job for mom: making sure her child is getting the right nutrients. A new study suggests what mom feeds her newborn is critical to its health.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - It's an important job for mom: making sure her child is getting the right nutrients. A new study suggests what mom feeds her newborn is critical to its health.

You don't need to tell mom Katie Buhler twice about the importance of early good nutrition for her youngsters.

The West Valley City mom made it a point to watch her diet while breast feeding. That's because through all three of her pregnancies she suffered severe nausea and couldn't keep anything down.

“I was so sick I had hyperemesis,” said Buhler. “So the only thing I could eat was pancakes. I had no nutrition in me.”

But when it comes to a child's chance of obesity, a new study from John Hopkins finds it's not what moms eat during pregnancy, but the level of fat in the infant’s diet right after birth.

Study authors tested rats and found those born to mothers fed high-fat diets but who got normal levels of fat in their diets right after birth avoided obesity and its related disorders. But the rat babies born to a normal-fat diet in the womb but nursed by rat mothers on high fat diets became obese.

Study authors say the experiments suggests what babies eat as newborns and young children may more determine their weight in the future than the nutrition they receive in the womb.

Buehler says even though her pregnancies may not have been ideal in terms of nutrition, she always had a low-fat diet while nursing her babies and she sees the results.

“They just nursed and I ate healthy and they've been really healthy,” she said.

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