Complementary feeding and overweight in european preschoolers: The toybox-study

the ToyBox-study Group

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Complementary feeding (CF) should start between 4–6 months of age to ensure infants’ growth but is also linked to childhood obesity. This study aimed to investigate the association of the timing of CF, breastfeeding and overweight in preschool children. Infant-feeding practices were self-reported in 2012 via a validated questionnaire by >7500 parents from six European countries participating in the ToyBox-study. The proportion of children who received breast milk and CF at 4–6 months was 51.2%. There was a positive association between timing of solid food (SF) introduction and duration of breastfeeding, as well as socioeconomic status and a negative association with smoking throughout pregnancy (p < 0.005). No significant risk to become overweight was observed among preschoolers who were introduced to SF at 1–3 months of age compared to those introduced at 4–6 months regardless of the type of milk feeding. Similarly, no significant association was observed between the early introduction of SF and risk for overweight in preschoolers who were breastfed for ≥4 months or were formula-fed. The study did not identify any significant association between the timing of introducing SF and obesity in childhood. It is likely that other factors than timing of SF introduction may have impact on childhood obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1199
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

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