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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2001 Sep;40(9):481-7.

Prolonged bottle feeding in a cohort of children: does it affect caloric intake and dietary composition?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


Little is known about the consequences to children of bottle feeding prolonged beyond age 1 year on caloric intake and overall dietary composition. To obtain these data, 165 children, followed up from infancy, were assessed in these respects for a 24-hour period at age 3 1/2 years. Bottle-fed children (n = 14) consumed more milk than their weaned counterparts (p < 0.001), had a higher mean daily calcium intake (p < 0.05), received fewer calories from carbohydrates (p = 0.034), and received a greater percentage of calories from protein (p = 0.033). There were no significant differences between the groups in total caloric intake, total iron intake, total volume ofjuice, or calories from fat. Pediatricians questioned about the effects of continuing to offer children nutritive liquids from bottles as well as cups (versus offering cups alone) may inform parents that this feeding practice is associated with significantly greater milk consumption and daily calcium intake. However, this study could not find evidence that prolonged bottle feeding at age 3 1/2 years is associated with a significantly decreased total daily iron intake or an increased risk for factors associated with adiposity such as a greater daily calorie intake, a higher body mass index, or greater percentage of total calories derived from fat.

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