By Dan Meyers | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. – Infants who get their first solid food before 4 months of age and after 6 months may have a higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, University of Colorado researchers have found.
The researchers, from the Colorado School of Public Health and the CU School of Medicine’s Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, also found that the risk goes down if the mother is still breast-feeding the baby when solid foods, particularly those containing wheat or barley, are introduced into the diet.
The results were unveiled Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association publication JAMA Pediatrics
“For children who are introduced to solid food before four months of age, the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes is almost two times higher than for children introduced to solid foods at 4 or 5 months of age,” says Jill Norris, MPH, PhD, chair of the Department of Epidemiology for the public health school.
The findings align with the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics on when to begin solid foods.
Research focused on Colorado children
The research, supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, looked at Colorado children with an increased genetic risk for Type 1 diabetes. Researchers noted when the children began on solid food, what foods they ate and whether they developed Type 1 diabetes.