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J Pediatr. 1990 May;116(5):805-9.

Influence of early feeding style on adiposity at 6 years of age.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305.


In a previous study we found that a vigorous infant feeding style measured in the laboratory at 2 and 4 weeks of age predicted the degree of adiposity at 1 and 2 years of age. A follow-up of this cohort of infants at 3 and 6 years of age is now reported. Factors predicting adiposity, measured by body mass index at 3 years of age, were pressure of suckling, with high-pressure sucking (denoting a vigorous feeding style) associated with greater adiposity, and time of introduction of solid food, with delayed introduction of solid food or breast-feeding longer than 5 months, or both, being associated with greater adiposity. Predictive factors at 6 years of age were adiposity at birth, with greater adiposity at birth predicting greater fatness at 6 years, parental education, with less education associated with fatness, and a prolonged period of breast-feeding with delayed introduction of solid food. These factors accounted for 40.4% of the variance in adiposity at 3 years of age and 31.2% at 6 years. The effects of social learning on body mass index, indicated by parental educational level, appear to strengthen over time, whereas the effects of the vigorous feeding style wane.

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