Toddlers aged 12 to 15 months who still use bottles are more likely to be overweight, and new research indicates that switching these children to sippy cups may not be enough to reduce this risk.
A group of 300 parents of children aged 12 months who consumed 2 or more bottles of milk or juice a day were randomly assigned to a bottle-weaning intervention or to a control group. Parents reported dietary intake and beverage container use periodically over the next year. The findings were published online on November 4, 2013, in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Toddlers in the intervention group reduced their use of bottles, calories consumed from milk bottles, and total calories significantly compared with baseline. Sippy cup use also increased in the intervention group. However, the difference in calorie intake between the intervention and control group was not significant. Although the intervention helped to reduce the risk factors for being overweight, toddlers in the intervention were still just as likely to be overweight as those in the control group.
The authors of the study noted that consuming a high proportion of calories as liquid, whether from bottles or sippy cups, may increase the risk of being overweight among toddlers. They suggest that more intervention efforts should be aimed at warning parents about excess calorie intake from both bottles and sippy cups.