Advertisement

Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 795–805 | Cite as

Associations Among Feeding Behaviors During Infancy and Child Illness at Two Years

  • Nina M. Philipsen Hetzner
  • Rachel A. Razza
  • Lizabeth M. Malone
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Article

Abstract

Objectives To explore the different combinations of early feeding practices and their association with child illness in toddlerhood (i.e., asthma, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and ear infections). Methods The Early Child Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) offers a unique opportunity to address this issue, as the study features a nationally representative sample of children and includes important questions on early feeding behaviors as well as an extensive list of background characteristics on the families. Using a subsample of approximately 7,900 children from the ECLS-B, data from the 9 month and 2 year collections were analyzed to define the occurrence of three feeding practices during infancy (i.e., by age 6 months) identify the key combinations of these practices, and examine associations between these combinations and child illness via logistic regression. Results Results indicate that 70% of parents initiated breastfeeding, 78% introduced formula and/or solid food before 6 months, 74% introduced solid food, and 15% introduced finger foods before 6 months. The most frequent feeding combinations were: breast milk with formula and solid/finger food (36%), formula with solid/finger food (24%), breast milk with formula (11%), breast milk with solid/finger food (14%), exclusive breast milk (8%), and exclusive formula (7%). After controlling for key demographic and family characteristics, results indicated that children who were exclusively breastfed were less likely to experience respiratory or ear infections than those experiencing other feeding combinations. No differences were found in rates of asthma or gastrointestinal infections. Conclusions This study provides insights for parents, medical professionals, and policy makers on the typical feeding practices and best practices for positive health outcomes in early childhood.

Keywords

Breastfeeding Infant feeding Formula Solid food Child illness Asthma Respiratory infection Ear infection Gastrointestinal infection Early childhood longitudinal study birth cohort 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the Virginia and Leonard Marx Foundation, which provides support to the National Center for Children and Families. Earlier findings, on which this article is based, were first presented at the 2007 NICHD-NCES Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) Conference: Development from Birth through Age Two.

References

  1. 1.
    Chantry, C. J., Howard, C. R., & Auinger, P. (2006). Full breastfeeding duration and associated decrease in respiratory tract infection in US children. Pediatrics, 117, 425–432. doi: 10.1542/peds.2004-2283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chulada, P. C., Arbes, S. J., Dunson, D., & Zeldin, D. C. (2003). Breast-feeding and the prevalence of asthma and wheeze in children: Analyses from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 111, 328–336. doi: 10.1067/mai.2003.127.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dell, S., & To, T. (2001). Breastfeeding and asthma in young children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 155, 1261–1265.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Heinig, M. J. (2001). Host defense benefits of breastfeeding for the infant: Effect of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 48, 105–123. doi: 10.1016/S0031-3955(05)70288-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Uhari, M., Matysaari, K., & Niemela, M. A. (1996). A meta-analytic review of risk factors for acute otitis media. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 22, 1079–1083.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Briefel, R., Reidy, K., Karwe, V., & Devaney, B. (2004). Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study: Improvements needed in meeting infant feeding recommendations. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104, S31–S37. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2003.10.020.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gartner, L. M., Morton, J., Lawrence, R. A., Naylor, A. J., O’Hare, D., Schanler, R. J., et al. (2005). Policy statement: Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics, 115, 496–506. doi: 10.1542/peds.2004-2491.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    World Health Organization (2003). Global strategy for infant and young child feeding. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fewtrell, M. S., Morgan, J. B., Duggan, C., Gunnlausson, G., Hibberd, P. L., Lucas, A., et al. (2007). Optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: What is the evidence to support current recommendations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85, 635S–638S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kramer, M. S., Guo, T., Platt, R. W., Sevkovskaya, Z., Dzikovich, I., Collet, J. P., et al. (2003). Infant growth and health outcomes associated with 3 compared with 6 mo of exclusive breastfeeding. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78, 291–295.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Heinig, M. J., & Dewey, K. G. (1996). Health advantages of breastfeeding for infants: A critical review. Nutritional Research Reviews, 9, 89–110. doi: 10.1079/NRR19960007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Davis, M. K. (1998). Review of the evidence for an association between infant feeding and childhood cancer. Journal of Cancer Supplement, 11, 29–33. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(1998)78:11+<29::AID-IJC9>3.0.CO;2-A.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Butte, N. F. (2001). The role of breastfeeding in obesity. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 48, 189–198. doi: 10.1016/S0031-3955(05)70293-5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gillman, M. W., Rifas-Shiman, S. L., Camargo, C. A., Berkey, C. S., Frazier, A. L., Rockett, H. R., et al. (2001). Risk of overweight among adolescents who were breastfed as infants. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2461–2467. doi: 10.1001/jama.285.19.2461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hediger, M., Overpeck, M., Kuczmarski, R., & Ruan, W. (2001). Association between infant breastfeeding and overweight in young children. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2453–2460. doi: 10.1001/jama.285.19.2453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shukla, A., Forstyth, H. A., Anderson, C. M., Marwah, S. M. (1972). Infantile over-nutrition in the first year of life: A field study in Dudley, Worcestershire. British Medical Journal, iv, 507–515.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ong, K. K., Emmett, P. M., Noble, S., Ness, A., Dunger, D. B., et al. (2006). Dietary energy intake at the age of four months predicts post-natal weight gain and childhood body mass index. Pediatrics, 117, e503–e508. doi: 10.1542/peds.2005-1668.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Popkin, B. R., Adair, L., Akin, J. S., Black, R., Briscow, J., & Flieger, W. (1990). Breastfeeding and diarrheal morbidity. Pediatrics, 86, 874–882.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Forsyth, J. S., Ogston, S. A., Clark, A., Florey, C. D., & Howie, P. W. (1993). Relation between early introduction of solid food to infants and their weight and illnesses during the first two years of life. British Medical Journal, 306, 1572–1576.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Butte, N. F., Lopez-Alarcon, M. G., & Garza, C. (2002). Nutrient adequacy of exclusive breastfeeding for the term infant during the first six months of life. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Reilly, J. J., & Wells, J. C. K. (2005). Duration of exclusive breastfeeding: Introduction of complementary feeding may be necessary before six months of age. The British Journal of Nutrition, 94, 869–872. doi: 10.1079/BJN20051601.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kramer, M. S., Kakuma, R. (2002). Optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003517. DOI:  10.1002/14651858.CD003517.
  23. 23.
    Cohen, R. J., Brown, K. H., Canahuati, J., Rivera, L. L., & Dewey, K. G. (1994). Effects of age of introduction of complementary foods on infant breast milk intake, total energy intake, and growth: A randomized intervention study in Honduras. Lancet, 344, 288–293. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(94)91337-4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hendricks, K., Briefel, R., Novak, T., & Ziegler, P. (2006). Maternal and child characteristics associated with infant and toddler feeding practices. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106, S135–S148. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.09.035.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jacknowitz, A., Novillo, D., & Tiehen, L. (2007). Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and infant feeding practices. Pediatrics, 199, 281–289. doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-1486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kimbro, R. (2006). On the job moms: Work and breastfeeding initiation and duration for a sample of low income women. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 10, 19–26. doi: 10.1007/s10995-005-0058-7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Clark, A., Anderson, J., Adams, E., & Baker, S. (2007). Assessing the knowledge attitudes, behaviors, and training needs related to infant feeding, specifically breastfeeding, of child care providers. Maternal and Child Health Journal, available: http://www.springerlink.com/content/f4n725u04h0p2688
  28. 28.
    Celi, A. C., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Richardson, M. K., Kleinman, K. P., & Gillman, M. W. (2005). Immigration, race/ethnicity, and social and economic factors as predictors of breastfeeding initiation. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 255–260. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.159.3.255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gibson-Davis, C., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2006). Couples’ immigration status and ethnicity as determinants of breastfeeding. American Journal of Public Health, 96, 641–646. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.064840.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Coulibaly, R., Séguin, L., Zunzunegui, M., & Gauvin, L. (2006). Links between maternal breast-feeding duration and Québec infants’ health: A population-based study. Are the effects different for poor children? Maternal and Child Health Journal, 6, 537–543. doi: 10.1007/s10995-006-0114-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385–401. doi: 10.1177/014662167700100306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2004). ECLS-B Longitudinal 9-month restricted-use users manual. (NCES 2004–092). Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2006). ECLS-B Longitudinal 9-month–2-year restricted-use data file and electronic codebook (CD-ROM). (NCES 2007–032). Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Owen, M. J., Baldwin, C. D., Swank, P. R., Pannu, A. K., Johnson, D. L., & Howie, V. M. (1993). Relation of infant feeding practices, cigarette smoke exposure, and group child care to the onset and duration of otitis media with effusion in the first two years of life. Journal of Pediatrics, 123, 702–711. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3476(05)80843-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Covar, R. A., & Spahn, J. D. (2003).Treating the wheezing infant. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 50, 631–654. doi: 10.1016/S0031-3955(03)00051-8 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wright, A. L. (2002). Epidemiology of asthma and recurrent wheeze in childhood. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology, 22, 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina M. Philipsen Hetzner
    • 1
  • Rachel A. Razza
    • 2
  • Lizabeth M. Malone
    • 1
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
    • 3
  1. 1.NCCF, Department of Human Development at Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Child & Family StudiesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.National Center for Children and FamiliesColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations