ABSTRACT: To investigate the relation between breastfeeding, use of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-fortified formula and neuropsychological function in children.
Prospective cohort study.
241 children aged 4 years followed up from birth.
IQ measured by the Wechsler Pre-School and Primary Scale of Intelligence (3rd edn), visual attention, visuomotor precision, sentence repetition and verbal fluency measured by the NEPSY, and visual form-constancy measured by the Test of Visual-Perceptual Skills (Non-Motor).
In unadjusted analyses, children for whom breast milk or DHA-fortified formula was the main method of feeding throughout the first 6 months of life had higher mean full-scale and verbal IQ scores at age 4 years than those fed mainly unfortified formula. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, particularly maternal IQ and educational attainment, the differences in IQ between children in the breast milk and unfortified formula groups were severely attenuated, but children who were fed DHA-fortified formula had full-scale and verbal IQ scores that were respectively 5.62 (0.98 to 10.2) and 7.02 (1.56 to 12.4) points higher than children fed unfortified formula. However, estimated total intake of DHA in milk up to age 6 months was not associated with subsequent IQ or with score on any other test.
Differences in children's intelligence according to type of milk fed in infancy may be due more to confounding by maternal or family characteristics than to the amount of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids they receive in milk.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 03/2010; 95(3):174-9. · 2.88 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Most studies of infant diet and later body composition focus on milk feeding; few consider the influence of variations in the weaning diet.
Our objective was to examine how variations in milk feeding and the weaning diet relate to body composition at 4 yr. Study
A total of 536 children participating in a prospective birth cohort study.
Diet was assessed at 6 and 12 months of age. Compliance with weaning guidance was defined by the infant's score for a principal component analysis-defined dietary pattern (infant guidelines) at 12 months. Infants with high infant guidelines scores had diets characterized by high consumption of fruit, vegetables, and home-prepared foods. Body composition was assessed at 4 yr by dual x-ray absorptiometry.
Longer duration of breastfeeding was associated with lower fat mass at 4 yr [4.5 kg, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 4.3-4.7 kg, in children breastfed for 12 months or more, compared with 5.0 (95% CI 4.7-5.3) kg in children never breastfed (P = 0.002)] but was not related to body mass index. Children with high infant guidelines scores had a higher lean mass [12.6 (95% CI 12.3-12.9) kg in children in the top quarter of the distribution, compared with 12.0 (95% CI 11.7-12.4) kg in children in the bottom quarter (P = 0.001)]. These associations were independent and were little changed by adjustment for confounding factors.
These data suggest that variations in both milk feeding and in the weaning diet are linked to differences in growth and development, and they have independent influences on body composition in early childhood.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 06/2009; 94(8):2799-805. · 6.50 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The impact of variations in current infant feeding practice on bone mineral accrual is not known. We examined the associations between duration of breast-feeding and compliance with infant dietary guidelines and later bone size and density at age 4 years. At total of 599 (318 boys) mother-child pairs were recruited from the Southampton Women's Survey. Duration of breast-feeding was recorded and infant diet was assessed at 6 and 12 months using FFQ. At 6 and 12 months the most important dietary pattern, defined by principal component analysis, was characterised by high consumption of vegetables, fruits and home-prepared foods. As this was consistent with infant feeding recommendations, it was denoted the 'infant guidelines' pattern. At age 4 years, children underwent assessment of whole-body bone size and density using a Hologic Discovery dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry instrument. Correlation methods were used to explore the relationships between infant dietary variables and bone mineral. There was no association between duration of breast-feeding in the first year of life and 4-year bone size or density. 'Infant guidelines' pattern scores at 6 and 12 months were also unrelated to bone mass at age 4 years. We observed wide variations in current infant feeding practice, but these variations were not associated with differences in childhood bone mass at age 4 years.
The British journal of nutrition 05/2009; 102(6):915-20. · 3.45 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Trials in developing countries suggest that improving young children's diet may benefit cognitive development. Whether dietary composition influences young children's cognition in developed countries is unclear. Although many studies have examined the relation between type of milk received in infancy and subsequent cognition, there has been no investigation of the possible effect of variations in the weaning diet.
We studied 241 children aged 4 years, whose diet had been assessed at age 6 and 12 months. We measured IQ with the Wechsler Pre-School and Primary Scale of Intelligence, visual attention, visuomotor precision, sentence repetition and verbal fluency with the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment (NEPSY), and visual form-constancy with the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills.
In sex-adjusted analyses, children whose diet in infancy was characterised by high consumption of fruit, vegetables and home-prepared foods ('infant guidelines' dietary pattern) had higher full-scale and verbal IQ and better memory performance at age 4 years. Further adjustment for maternal education, intelligence, social class, quality of the home environment and other potential confounding factors attenuated these associations but the relations between higher 'infant guidelines' diet score and full-scale and verbal IQ remained significant. For a standard deviation increase in 'infant guidelines' diet score at 6 or 12 months full-scale IQ rose by .18 (95% CI .04 to .31) of a standard deviation. For a standard deviation increase in 'infant guidelines' diet score at 6 months verbal IQ rose by .14 (.01 to .27) of a standard deviation. There were no associations between dietary patterns in infancy and 4-year performance on the other tests.
These findings suggest that dietary patterns in early life may have some effect on cognitive development. It is also possible that they reflect the influence of unmeasured confounding factors.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 02/2009; 50(7):816-23. · 4.28 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relative validity of an FFQ for assessing nutrient intakes in 12-month-old infants.
The FFQ was developed to assess the diets of infants born to women in the Southampton Women's Survey (SWS), a population-based survey of young women and their offspring. The energy and nutrient intakes obtained from an interviewer-administered FFQ were compared with those obtained from 4 d weighed diaries (WD).
A sub-sample of fifty infants (aged 1 year) from the SWS had their diets assessed by both methods. The FFQ recorded the frequencies and amounts of foods and drinks consumed by the infants over the previous 28 d; milk consumption was recorded separately. The WD recorded the weights of all foods and drinks consumed by the infants on 4 d following the FFQ completion.
The Spearman rank correlation coefficients for intakes of energy, macronutrients and eighteen micronutrients, determined by the two methods, ranged from r = 0.25 to 0.66. Bland-Altman statistics showed that mean differences between methods were in the range +5% to +60% except for vitamin D (+106%). Differences in micronutrient intake were partly explained by changes in patterns of milk consumption between the two assessments.
Although there were differences in absolute energy and nutrient intakes between methods, there was reasonable agreement in the ranking of intakes. The FFQ is a useful tool for assessing energy and nutrient intakes of healthy infants aged around 12 months.
Public Health Nutrition 09/2008; 12(7):967-72. · 2.17 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To measure the zinc, copper, selenium and manganese blood levels in a cohort of 68 preterm infants, and to establish any associations with growth and/or dietary intake.
Blood samples were collected at an infant's expected date of delivery (term) and 6 months later. Serum zinc, plasma copper and whole blood manganese were analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry, plasma and red cell selenium were determined by mass spectrometry. Growth and dietary intake determinations have been previously published.
Mean (SD) birth weight of the infants was 1.47 (0.434) kg and mean gestation was 31.4 (2.9) weeks. Mean blood levels at term and 6 months were: serum zinc 12.0 (2.6) micromol/l and 13.8 (2.5) micromol/l; plasma copper 10.1 (2.6) micromol/l and 19.2 (3.6) micromol/l; plasma selenium 0.49 (0.15) micromol/l and 0.72 (0.14) micromol/l; red blood cell selenium 1.68 (0.40) micromol/l and 1.33 (0.19) micromol/l; and blood manganese 320 (189) nmol/l and 211 (68) nmol/l, respectively. There were no significant associations between levels of zinc and copper and dietary intakes of those nutrients at either age (dietary intakes of selenium and manganese were not determined). Only copper levels at term were significantly associated (r = 0.31; p = 0.05) with a growth parameter (head circumference).
These results provide new information about trace element status in this vulnerable population.
Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition 12/2007; 92(6):F494-7. · 3.05 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To describe feeding patterns and mothers' perceptions of desirable feeding practices in low-birth-weight (LBW) infants after hospital discharge in England and to test for the association of inappropriate practices/perceptions with identifiable demographics.
Postal questionnaires from 198 mothers of LBW infants in London, Liverpool and Winchester were analysed regarding infant demographics, mothers' demographics, infant milks used, solid feeding practices and mothers' perceptions of infant feeding practices.
At birth, the median weight, independent of gestational age, was 1.80 kg (range 0.6-2.50 kg) and 37.1% of infants received breast milk exclusively; 83.7% were breast-fed at some stage, a practice favoured more by first-time mothers (90.2%) than multiparous mothers (73.4%) (P = 0.004) as well as by mothers of higher social groups (P = 0.019). The median age of solid food introduction was 17 postnatal weeks (range 8-36 weeks); the timing correlated strongly with infant birth weight (P < 0.001). A high-fibre diet and a low-fat diet were incorrectly considered important for their infants by 67.1% and 51.6% of mothers, respectively. Regarding a high-fibre diet as important was associated with being a multiparous mother (P = 0.006), while regarding a low-fat diet as important was associated with low social group (P = 0.018). A quarter of mothers did not consider 'plenty of calories' to be important for their infants, reflecting similar attitudes in 1990 for mothers of term infants; this incorrect attitude exhibited an association with being a first-time mother (P = 0.047).
Infant feeding practices were very variable, showing poor concordance with national and international recommendations for term infants. In selecting foods for their infants, many mothers appeared to be applying principles more appropriate to planning a healthy diet for adults. There is an urgent need to develop and implement evidence-based guidelines for feeding LBW infants after hospital discharge, with special attention given to multiparous mothers as well as mothers from lower social groups.
Public Health Nutrition 09/2006; 9(6):700-6. · 2.17 Impact Factor