Dietary Patterns During Complementary Feeding and Later Outcome

Dietary Patterns During Complementary Feeding and Later Outcome

P. Emmett


Pauline Emmett (Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, Bristol) presented the findings of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). This cohort study of 14,000 pregnant women used a self-questionnaire to survey infant dietary patterns. Based on 1991-92 UK dietary recommendations, complementary feeding recommendations were met in 48% of infants, with associated benefits of increased IQ at age 8, and healthy dietary patterns at age 3 and 7. Increased maternal age and higher education status were associated with an increased likelihood of compliance to recommendations, whereas pre-pregnancy obesity predicted decreased likelihood. Four distinct dietary groups emerged at 6 and 15 months. Groups characterized by discretionary foods such as biscuits, sweets and crisps and the use of ready-prepared baby foods were negatively correlated with IQ, with the former also positively correlated with obesity. These findings indicate that diet is likely to influence cognitive development and obesogenesis during infancy.

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