White Rice Cereal: Baby's First Junk Food!

Pregnancyorg Staff's picture

by Laura Sussely-Pope

In the News: White Rice Cereal Harmful to Baby!

You may be shocked by recent findings of a study conducted by Dr. Alan Greene, which found that feeding your baby white rice cereal equates to feeding them a spoonful of sugar. Yes, you read that right. A spoonful of sugar!

White rice cereal, which is processed white rice flour, is often mixed with breast milk or formula, giving it an even stronger positive association. Conversion of the white rice flour to glucose begins while the cereal is still in the baby’s mouth. By the time it is absorbed into the intestines, it is almost 100% glucose.

Dr. Greene's white paper lays out the many intrinsic and extrinsic factors which lead to the the obesity epidemic among our children. And making white rice cereal our babies' first solid food is at the top of the list.

In a July/August 2011 survey by Medscape.com physicians were surveyed about their recommendations for feeding babies. They were asked "What do you recommend for baby's first food (check all that apply)?" The options were white rice cereal, whole grain cereal, a vegetable, a fruit, egg yolk, meat, or other.

As of August 31, the leading answer was white rice cereal. It received almost twice as many votes as the next most common.

However, these physicians then read an article about WhiteOut Now, Dr. Greene's public service campaign -- and the survey results were strikingly different.

Responding to, "What will you recommend for baby's first food (check all that apply)," only 3% even included white rice cereal among their recommended choices!

Physicians were also asked, "Do you think white rice cereal is the best choice for baby's first food?" About 3% of those who responded had "No opinion" and an overwhelming 93% responded, "No."

Over 12,000 physicians have taken part in the survey to date, and the change in recommendations continues to spread. For Dr. Greene, this is "the major reversal which suggests that the old white rice cereal recommendations were based on well-meaning habit rather than on science or even on careful consideration."

What did your pediatrician recommend as your baby's first solid food? What do you think about these findings? Let us know in the comments!

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