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J Pediatr. 2004 Nov;145(5):600-5.

Feeding effects on growth during infancy.

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Department of Pediatrics, McGill University, Faculty of Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To examine the effects of formula, other milks, other liquids, cereals, and other solid foods on growth during infancy.


Observational cohort study nested within a large (n=17,046), cluster-randomized trial. We compared growth [weight-for-age, length-for-age, and weight-for-length z scores (WAZ, LAZ, WLZ) and head circumference (HC)] during the intervals 1 to 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 9, and 9 to 12 months, using hierarchical multivariate regression to control for size at the beginning of each interval, maternal education, geographic region, and urban versus rural location.


Mixed BF and formula/other milk were associated with significantly higher (versus breast milk only) LAZ at 1 to 3 months (+0.038 and +0.047, respectively). In the 3- to 6-month interval, mixed BF and formula/other milk led to significantly higher WAZ (+0.125 and +0.139) and LAZ (+0.081 and +0.075), whereas cereal intake was associated with large and highly significant reductions in both measures (-0.293 and -0.240) and in HC (-0.291 cm). Mixed BF and formula/other milk continued to have positive albeit smaller associations with WAZ and LAZ in the 6- to 9-month and 9- to 12-month intervals.


Our results confirm the growth-accelerating effects of formula and other milks (versus breast milk) on weight and length gain throughout infancy, with a dose-response gradient and largest associations observed at 3 to 6 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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