Timing of solid food introduction and association with later childhood overweight and obesity: The IDEFICS study

on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated associations between timing of solid food introduction and childhood obesity and explored maternal characteristics influencing early feeding practices. Cross-sectional data from children 2–9 years (n = 10,808; 50.5% boys) residing in 8 European countries of the IDEFICS study (2007–2008) were included. Late solid food introduction (≥7 months of age) was associated with an increased prevalence of later childhood overweight/obesity among exclusively breastfed children (OR [odds ratio]: 1.38, 95% CI [confidence interval] [1.01, 1.88]). In contrast, early solid food introduction (<4 months of age) was associated with lower prevalence of overweight/obesity among children that ceased exclusive breastfeeding earlier than 4 months (OR: 0.63, 95% CI [0.47, 0.84]). Children that were introduced to solids right after 6 months exclusive breastfeeding and continued to receive breastmilk (≥12 months) were less likely to become overweight/obese (OR: 0.67, 95% CI [0.51, 0.88]) compared to children that discontinued to receive breastmilk. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, country, birth weight, parental education level, parental body mass index, tobacco use in pregnancy, gestational weight gain, and gestational diabetes. Underweight mothers, overweight mothers, mothers who reported daily smoking during pregnancy, and low-educated mothers were less likely to follow recommendations on breastfeeding and timely solids introduction. Future studies should examine whether guidelines for solid food introduction timing have to distinguish between exclusively breastfed, formula fed, and too early exclusive breastfeeding-ceased infants. There is also need for more prospective studies; recall bias was an important current limitation. In conclusion, health professionals should emphasize benefits of breastfeeding and appropriate solid food introduction, especially to mothers that are less likely to follow recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12471
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Pediatric Obesity
Breast Feeding
Mothers
Food
Confidence Intervals
Pregnancy
Gestational Diabetes
Thinness
Tobacco Use
Birth Weight
Weight Gain
Body Mass Index
Smoking
Odds Ratio
Prospective Studies
Guidelines
Education
Health

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • childhood
  • maternal
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • solid food introduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Timing of solid food introduction and association with later childhood overweight and obesity : The IDEFICS study. / on behalf of the IDEFICS consortium.

In: Maternal and Child Nutrition, Vol. 14, No. 1, e12471, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "This study investigated associations between timing of solid food introduction and childhood obesity and explored maternal characteristics influencing early feeding practices. Cross-sectional data from children 2–9 years (n = 10,808; 50.5{\%} boys) residing in 8 European countries of the IDEFICS study (2007–2008) were included. Late solid food introduction (≥7 months of age) was associated with an increased prevalence of later childhood overweight/obesity among exclusively breastfed children (OR [odds ratio]: 1.38, 95{\%} CI [confidence interval] [1.01, 1.88]). In contrast, early solid food introduction (<4 months of age) was associated with lower prevalence of overweight/obesity among children that ceased exclusive breastfeeding earlier than 4 months (OR: 0.63, 95{\%} CI [0.47, 0.84]). Children that were introduced to solids right after 6 months exclusive breastfeeding and continued to receive breastmilk (≥12 months) were less likely to become overweight/obese (OR: 0.67, 95{\%} CI [0.51, 0.88]) compared to children that discontinued to receive breastmilk. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, country, birth weight, parental education level, parental body mass index, tobacco use in pregnancy, gestational weight gain, and gestational diabetes. Underweight mothers, overweight mothers, mothers who reported daily smoking during pregnancy, and low-educated mothers were less likely to follow recommendations on breastfeeding and timely solids introduction. Future studies should examine whether guidelines for solid food introduction timing have to distinguish between exclusively breastfed, formula fed, and too early exclusive breastfeeding-ceased infants. There is also need for more prospective studies; recall bias was an important current limitation. In conclusion, health professionals should emphasize benefits of breastfeeding and appropriate solid food introduction, especially to mothers that are less likely to follow recommendations.",
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