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Cellulite in Infants

by
author image Sara Clement
Sara Clement has been a writer, editor and social-media expert since 2002. A regular contributor for publications such as "Exhale," "Reflections of a Butterfly" and "The Giggle Guide," she is currently writing a book about grief and loss and coauthoring a sequel to "Being Ourself." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in premedical science and psychology/education from the University of Montana.
Cellulite in Infants
As babies develop, fat and cellulite are utilized efficently for optimum health. Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images

Living in a fat conscious society may lead concerned parents to view baby cellulite as an indicator of an unhealthy weight in their infant. However, though obesity is currently reaching national epidemic proportions, cellulite in infancy does not always correlate with obesity as an adult. If you are concerned about your baby's weight or appearance do not hesitate to consult with your child's pediatrician for educational support.

Significance

Human milk, considered to be the healthiest option for infant nutrition, contains more than 40 percent of its caloric make up from fats and is rich in cholesterol. Leading pediatric expert Dr. William Sears insists that a balanced infant diet should contain this level of fat and cholesterol for optimum health. The co-occurring dimpled cheeks that follow this healthy diet indicate a well fed baby who has enough fat stores for healthy brain and body development.

Function

Fats provide insulating properties for the nervous system and the brain. Myelin is a fatty substance coating certain neurons for quick neuronal messaging for increased learning and memory capacity. Infants undergo extensive brain growth in the first three years of life and fat is essential for this development.

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Considerations

Stored fat in the body of an infant is used for metabolism, vitamin transport, and hormone regulation. Healthy fats and unsaturated non-hydrogenated oils provide support needed for proper development in infancy. Formula fed babies may be more likely to carry obesity into adulthood.

Misconceptions

Not all fats are created equal. Formula, saturated fats, and hydrogenated oils are not processed well by the body, creating unhealthy fatty deposits that are not as easily utilized by the body. Healthy fat sources include breast milk, avocado, nut butters, fish and vegetable oil. "The Baby Book" by Dr. William Sears and his wife Martha Sears does not encourage a low cholesterol or low fat diet for infants and toddlers; instead they advise a diet rich in healthy fats, and absent in hydrogenated fats.

Solution

Formula fed babies tend to begin solid foods sooner than breast fed babies, which can increase the likelihood of developing an unhealthy weight and chronic cellulite. Breastfeeding is the best way to reduce the chances of obesity later in childhood. Sears recommends finding numerous ways to soothe baby, other than solely relying on food for comfort, to avoid development of unhealthy eating patterns.

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References

  • "The Baby Book": William Sears, M.D and Martha Sears, R.N.; 2008
  • "The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby"; William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.; 2001
  • "Natural Family Living: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting"; Peggy O'Mara; 2000
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