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Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Apr 15;165(8):919-26. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Breastfeeding, weight gain in infancy, and overweight at seven years of age: the prevention and incidence of asthma and mite allergy birth cohort study.

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Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Compared with nonbreastfed children, breastfed children tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) at about 1 year of age. How the BMI of breastfed children develops after the first year when this difference in BMI at 1 year of age is considered is not clear. The authors studied the association between breastfeeding and BMI development from 1 to 7 years of age independently of BMI at 1 year of age. Longitudinal BMI data reported by parents of 2,347 Dutch children born in 1996-1997 who participated in the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy birth cohort study were collected. Linear regression and mixed-effects models were used for data analyses. Mean BMI at 1 year of age was 17.2 kg/m(2) (standard deviation, 1.4). Compared with nonbreastfed children, children breastfed for >16 weeks had a lower BMI at 1 year of age, after adjustment for confounders (beta = -0.22, 95% confidence interval: -0.39, -0.06). The association between breastfeeding and BMI between 1 and 7 years of age was negligible, while a high BMI at 1 year of age was strongly associated with a high BMI between 1 and 7 years of age in the same model. These findings suggest that the lower BMI and lower risk of overweight among breastfed children later in life are already achieved at 1 year of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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