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Pediatr Res. 1984 Dec;18(12):1233-8.

Indices of fatness and serum cholesterol at age eight years in relation to feeding and growth during early infancy.


During the early months of life, gains in length and weight are more rapid by formula-fed than by breast-fed infants and we and others have speculated that the greater gains of the formula-fed infants are the result of greater food intake. If overfeeding during early infancy resulted in establishment of habits of overeating, or if, for any other reason, diet-induced fatness in infancy persisted into childhood, we might be able to demonstrate differences in fatness in childhood related to mode of feeding (breast or bottle) during infancy. We therefore examined at age 8 years 469 children born in 1966-1971 who had been studied intensely in our unit from 8 to 112 days of age. At age 8 years there were no differences in indices of fatness related to mode of feeding during infancy. Serum concentrations of cholesterol at age 8 years were also of interest because of reports from animal studies that differences in feeding during early life may be responsible for subsequent differences in cholesterol homeostasis. Cholesterol concentrations at age 8 years did not demonstrate significant differences related to mode of feeding during infancy. It is possible, however, that age 8 years is too early for an effect to be demonstrated.

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