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Acta Paediatr. 1998 Sep;87(9):911-7.

Influence of breastfeeding and complementary food on growth between 5 and 10 months.

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Division of Ethology and Health, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


The aim of this study was to examine the nature of the association between breastfeeding, complementary feeding and growth in a random sample of infants from Denmark, where the prevalence of breastfeeding is high. A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire and a questionnaire on breastfeeding duration and on weight and length measurements taken at the infant welfare visit at 5 and 10 months were sent to 590 families with 10-month-old infants. A total of 339 infants with complete growth data were included in the analyses. When controlling for mid-parental height and birth weight infants breastfed for > or =7 months gained 198 g less in weight (p < 0.01) and 7 mm less in length (p < 0.01) during the period from 5 to 10 months than infants breastfed for < 7 months. Controlling for these effects, the 10% of the sample with the highest protein intake (i.e. > or =16 energy percentage) gained 262 g more than those with a lower protein intake (p = 0.03). Infants breastfed for > or =7 months received significantly less cow's milk (p < 0.01), and fewer meat-containing dishes (p < 0.05) and sweets or cakes (p < 0.01), which may partly explain the effect of breastfeeding. The long-term consequences of this moderate difference in growth velocity are unknown and the findings should not be used to advocate against breastfeeding during late infancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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