A study of the association between timing of solid food introduction in infants and overweight and obesity in pre-school aged children in NHANES 2003-2008
Background. Previous studies suggest an association between timing of introduction of solid food and increased risk of obesity in pre-school aged children, but no study included a representative sample of US children. We sought to examine whether there was any association between the timing of solid food introduction and overweight/obesity in pre-school aged children. Design/methods. Cross-sectional study of a nationally representative sample (N=2050) of US children aged 2 to 5 years with information on infant feeding practices and measured weight and height from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2008. The main outcome measure was BMI for age and sex ≥ 85th percentile. The main exposure was timing of solid food introduction at < 4, 4–5, or ≥ 6 months of age. Binomial logistic regression was used in the analysis controlling for child's sex, birth weight and breastfeeding status as well as maternal age at birth, smoking status and socio-demographic variables. Results. Two thousand and fifty children were included in the sample; 51% male and 49% female; 57.1% Non-Hispanic White, 21.9% Hispanic, 14.0% Non-Hispanic Black, and 7% other race/ethnicity. Twenty-two percent of the children were overweight or obese. Sixty-nine percent were breastfed or fed breast milk at birth and 36% continued breastfeeding for ≥ six months. Solid foods were introduced before 4 months of age for 11.2% of the children; 30.3% received solid foods between 4 to 5 months; with 58.6% receiving solid foods at 6 months or later. Timing of solid food introduction was not associated with weight status (OR= 1.36, 95% CI [0.83–2.24]). Formula-fed infants and infants breastfed for < 4 months had increased odds of overweight and obesity (OR=1.54, 95% CI [1.05–2.27] and OR= 1.60, 95% CI [1.05–2.44], respectively) when compared to infants breastfed for ≥ 6 months. Conclusion. Timing of solid food introduction was not associated with weight status in a national sample of US children ages 2 to 5 years. More focus should be placed on promoting breastfeeding and healthy infant feeding practices as strategies to prevent obesity in children.
Del Rio Rodriguez, Betty, "A study of the association between timing of solid food introduction in infants and overweight and obesity in pre-school aged children in NHANES 2003-2008" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1518770.