Health  

Experts advocate low protein intake for infants

african babyIn a bid to ensure right protein intake in infants, breastfeeding and nursing mothers have been advised to feed them with lower protein formulae, where babies are not exclusively breastfed.

Lower protein formulae, experts argue, would avoid long–term impact on babies’ body mass index (BMI) and obesity risk.

Speaking at a scientific symposium organised by Nestle Nigeria PLC, recently in Lagos, consultant practitioner at Massey Street children hospital, Dr. Cecilia Abimbola Mabogunje, said that high protein in early life could lead to metabolic problems, because much protein consumption creates excess nutrients, and if not used or stored, can be burden the infant’s metabolism.

According to Mabogunje, breastfed infants have a lower risk of being obese later in life, and low protein diet in infants reduces the risk of overweight and obesity as well.

Mabogunje, in her presentation titled: “Why protein matters most”, explained that protein is very vital, because it contributes to the building of almost every cell in the body system, but its quality matters too.

Professor of pediatrics, Christy Okorobe stressed the need for women to plan their pregnancies, at least three months before conception, since it reduces the inherent risk within the one thousand days of life, which is seen as a critical period because it is associated with much growth.

Okorobe also regretted that pneumonia, which is the leading child killer, is not given much prominence, rather Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), which is only four per cent, has all the prominence.

“Malaria has been over diagnosed in our hospitals, and yet malnutrition accounts for over fifty per cent of under-five deaths in Nigeria annually,” she said.

She added that, the World Health Organisation (WHO) growth standards are based on the usage of breastfed children, whose mothers are not malnourished.

She noted some common wrong feeding practices, like feeding an infant with cow milk product, insufficient breastfeeding and inappropriate use of breast milk supplement as most of the challenges.

Mabogunje urged healthcare givers to seek knowledge by attending programmes of such in other not to give conflicting



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