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Title: Infant eating behaviors and Milk feeding independently predict infant size
Abstract Objectives

This study investigates the association of infant eating behaviors with infant size, and if those associations are mediated by infant feeding.

Methods

Mothers with infants less than 12 months of age and living in Central North Carolina were enrolled (N = 61). Data were collected at baseline and at 3‐ and 6‐month follow up visits. Modified constructs from the Baby Eating Behavior Questionnaire (BEBQ) and Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ) measured parents' perceptions of infant eating behaviors related to food approach (enjoyment of food, and food responsiveness) and food avoidance (food fussiness, satiety responsiveness, and slowness in eating). Linear mixed effects models tested longitudinal associations among infant eating behavior ratings, infant feeding (breastfeeding intensity, timing of introduction of complementary foods), and anthropometry (weight, length, and weight‐for‐length z‐scores). Path analyses were stratified by age and tested for direct and indirect effects of mothers' ratings of infant eating behaviors and infant feeding on infant anthropometry.

Results

Linear mixed models showed that general appetite was associated with higher weight‐for‐age, and satiety responsiveness was associated with lower length‐for‐age. Path analyses showed that infant milk feeding did not mediate associations. Breastfeeding intensity was independently associated with lower weight‐ and length‐for‐agez‐scores. Age at complementary feeding initiation was associated with lower length‐for‐agez‐scores.

Conclusions

Associations between parental perceptions of general appetite, satiety responsiveness, and infant weight and length are observed early in life. These findings suggest that parental perceptions of infant eating behaviors may contribute to the early developmental programming of later health outcomes.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10364582
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
American Journal of Human Biology
Volume:
34
Issue:
4
ISSN:
1042-0533
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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