Babies who are fed cow's milk instead of breast or formula milk in the first 12 months of their life are far more likely to become either overweight or flat-out obese, research has found.
According to a paper published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, children who drank just over a pint of milk each day at eight months gained weight faster and continued to become heavier than their breast-fed counterparts.
The study, which surveyed 1,112 babies from Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, also found those who drank formula milk put on weight faster in infancy than breast-fed children.
Dr Pauline Emmett, from the University of Bristol, said: "giving lots of cow's milk to children in late infancy can lead to those children gaining weight faster and having a higher BMI right throughout childhood when compared to breast-fed babies." She went on:
"This could contribute to the development of childhood obesity and the health risks connected with that which can persist right through to adulthood."
The findings echo guidance from the Department of Health which says babies should not be given cow's milk before the age of one. "Parents need to be advised about reducing the volume of milk fed by bottle," Dr Emmett adds.
It seems to suggest that if you're a little on the chubby side, this could be attributed to the kind of milk you were given as a kid, which is bound to spark outrage amid body-obsessed young adults.
Jordan Gold, journalist and stout parent-hater, said: "I wasn't breastfed and I genuinely think that my slow metabolism is a direct result of that. But don't get me wrong, women shouldn't be forced to breastfeed if they don't want to."
There are milk alternatives, but only a few have managed to avoid the wrath of environmental concerns; soy milk is supposedly detrimental to the ground in which it grows, and almond milk is said to require as much water to produce as a steak dinner. Rice, coconut and camel milk are an option.