Obesity in kids: Is bottle-feeding to blame?

baby, toddler, bottle, 4x3 iStockphoto

Obesity in a bottle?

Letting a toddler continue to drink from a baby bottle may be a big fat mistake. Kids who stay glued to the bottle after age two are more likely to become obese, according to a new study.

Scientists at Temple University tracked about 7,000 babies born in 2001, and found more than one in five were still sipping a bottle at age two. Of these kids, almost 30% were obese by the time they were 5 1/2.

Only 16 percent of kids who had moved on to cups were found to be obese.

The authors of the study - published in the May 5 issue of the "Journal of Pediatrics" - think bottle-feeding encourages kids to consume too many calories.

"A 24-month-old girl of average weight and height who is put to bed with an 8-ounce bottle of whole milk would receive approximately 12% of her daily caloric needs from that bottle," study author Rachel Gooze, a doctoral student at the university, said in a written statement.

That's a lot of calories for a bedtime snack.

When is the best time to take kids off the bottle? When they can sit up by themselves or use a spoon - usually around 12-18 months - say doctors at the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips for weaning your toddler off the bottle.

Popular on CBS News


Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.