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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2015 Aug;39(4):366-73. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12376. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

The timing of solid introduction in an 'obesogenic' environment: a narrative review of the evidence and methodological issues.

Author information

1
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology.
2
Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the evidence for association between obesity risk outcomes >12 months of age and timing of solid introduction in healthy term infants in developed countries, the large majority of whom are not exclusively breastfed to six months of age.

METHODS:

Studies included were published 1990 to March 2013.

RESULTS:

Twenty-six papers with weight status or obesity prevalence outcomes were identified. Studies were predominantly cohort design, most with important methodological limitations. Ten studies reported a positive association. Of these, only two were large, good-quality studies and both examined the outcome of early (<4 months) introduction of solids. None of the four good-quality studies that directly evaluated current guidelines provided evidence of any clinically relevant protective effect of solid introduction from 4-5 versus ≥6 months of age.

CONCLUSION:

The introduction of solids prior to 4 months of age may result in increased risk of childhood obesity but there is little evidence of adverse weight status outcomes associated with introducing solids at 4-6 rather than at six months.

IMPLICATIONS:

More and better quality evidence is required to inform guidelines on the 'when, what and how' of complementary feeding.

KEYWORDS:

complementary feeding; developed countries; narrative review; obesity

PMID:
26095170
DOI:
10.1111/1753-6405.12376
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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