While some studies have found that child care in general may be related to childhood obesity, few have looked at how child care in infancy could affect this. As we see here, such research has now been carried out in Denmark…
A total of 27,821 infants born to mothers who took part in the Danish National Birth Cohort study and were registered on the Childcare Database (a record of child care use) were recruited. The number of days spent in child care from birth to 12 months was collected and body mass index (using z-scores for infants) measured at 12 months.
It was found that 63.7 per cent attended child care during this period. A 30-day increment of child care was associated with a significantly higher body mass index z-score and increased likelihood of being overweight at 12 months of age.
In summary, it seems that child care in the first year of life may contribute to higher weight in infancy. Taking this on board it seems that child care settings e.g. nurseries and child minders are important targets for obesity prevention.
For more information, see: Neelon SE et al. (2015) International Journal of Obesity Vol. 39, pg 33-38.