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Horm Metab Res. 2010 Feb;42(2):143-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1241830. Epub 2009 Nov 9.

Early infant diet in children at high risk for type 1 diabetes.

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Forschergruppe Diabetes der Technischen Universität München, Munich, Germany.


Infant diet affects health and development. The aim of our study was to investigate WHO infant feeding compliance in children who have a first degree family history of type 1 diabetes (T1D). One hundred and fifty children who were first degree relatives of patients with T1D were intensively followed from birth in the BABYDIET intervention study. Infant feeding, infections, and medication were recorded daily by participating families. Weight and length of children were obtained from paediatric records. Only 5% of the families followed the WHO recommendations for infant feeding that include full breastfeeding for at least 6 months (18.8% of children) and introduction of complementary foods under continued breastfeeding thereafter (22.2% of children). Maternal age in the first quartile (<29 years; p<0.0001), and maternal smoking (p<0.0001) were associated with an earlier introduction of solid food and reduced breastfeeding. Full breastfeeding > or =6 months was associated with reduced frequency of gastrointestinal infections (12 vs. 38%, p=0.02) and antibiotic treatment (24 vs. 48%, p=0.04). Our findings indicate that WHO infant feeding recommendations were poorly followed by families with a family history of T1D. Action to improve levels of infant feeding behaviour is essential, especially among young mothers with T1D.

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