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Type of milk feeding in infancy and health behaviours in adult life: findings from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study

Type of milk feeding in infancy and health behaviours in adult life: findings from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study
Type of milk feeding in infancy and health behaviours in adult life: findings from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study
A number of studies suggest that breast-feeding has beneficial effects on an individual's cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, although the mechanisms involved are unknown. One possible explanation is that adults who were breastfed differ in their health behaviours. In a historical cohort, adult health behaviours were examined in relation to type of milk feeding in infancy. From 1931 to 1939, records were kept on all infants born in Hertfordshire, UK. Their type of milk feeding was summarised as breastfed only, breast and bottle-fed, or bottle-fed only. Information about adult health behaviours was collected from 3217 of these men and women when they were aged 59–73 years. Diet was assessed using an administered FFQ; the key dietary pattern was a ‘prudent’ pattern that described compliance with ‘healthy’ eating recommendations. Of the study population, 60 % of the men and women were breastfed, 31 % were breast and bottle-fed, and 9 % were bottle-fed. Type of milk feeding did not differ according to social class at birth, and was not related to social class attained in adult life. There were no differences in smoking status, alcohol intake or reported physical activity according to type of milk feeding, but there were differences in the participants' dietary patterns. In a multivariate model that included sex and infant weight gain, there were independent associations between type of feeding and prudent diet scores in adult life (P= 0·009), such that higher scores were associated with having been breastfed. These data support experimental findings which suggest that early dietary exposures can have lifelong influences on food choice.
breast-feeding, food choice, dietary patterns, health behaviours
0007-1145
1114-1122
Robinson, S.
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Ntani, G.
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Simmonds, S.J.
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Syddall, H.
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Dennison, E.
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Sayer, A.A.
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Robinson, S.
ba591c98-4380-456a-be8a-c452f992b69b
Ntani, G.
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Simmonds, S.J.
2214e6b5-868a-4dae-8491-fca5d5a8ecb8
Syddall, H.
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Dennison, E.
ee647287-edb4-4392-8361-e59fd505b1d1
Sayer, A.A.
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb

Robinson, S., Ntani, G., Simmonds, S.J., Syddall, H., Dennison, E. and Sayer, A.A. (2013) Type of milk feeding in infancy and health behaviours in adult life: findings from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 109 (6), 1114-1122. (doi:10.1017/S000711451200267X). (PMID:23021469)

Record type: Article

Abstract

A number of studies suggest that breast-feeding has beneficial effects on an individual's cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, although the mechanisms involved are unknown. One possible explanation is that adults who were breastfed differ in their health behaviours. In a historical cohort, adult health behaviours were examined in relation to type of milk feeding in infancy. From 1931 to 1939, records were kept on all infants born in Hertfordshire, UK. Their type of milk feeding was summarised as breastfed only, breast and bottle-fed, or bottle-fed only. Information about adult health behaviours was collected from 3217 of these men and women when they were aged 59–73 years. Diet was assessed using an administered FFQ; the key dietary pattern was a ‘prudent’ pattern that described compliance with ‘healthy’ eating recommendations. Of the study population, 60 % of the men and women were breastfed, 31 % were breast and bottle-fed, and 9 % were bottle-fed. Type of milk feeding did not differ according to social class at birth, and was not related to social class attained in adult life. There were no differences in smoking status, alcohol intake or reported physical activity according to type of milk feeding, but there were differences in the participants' dietary patterns. In a multivariate model that included sex and infant weight gain, there were independent associations between type of feeding and prudent diet scores in adult life (P= 0·009), such that higher scores were associated with having been breastfed. These data support experimental findings which suggest that early dietary exposures can have lifelong influences on food choice.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 5 July 2012
Published date: March 2013
Keywords: breast-feeding, food choice, dietary patterns, health behaviours
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

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Local EPrints ID: 354103
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354103
ISSN: 0007-1145
PURE UUID: 6731bfe9-40c4-43ab-8298-756a700f4118
ORCID for S. Robinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1766-7269
ORCID for H. Syddall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0171-0306
ORCID for E. Dennison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3048-4961

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Date deposited: 01 Jul 2013 10:25
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:50

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Contributors

Author: S. Robinson ORCID iD
Author: G. Ntani
Author: S.J. Simmonds
Author: H. Syddall ORCID iD
Author: E. Dennison ORCID iD
Author: A.A. Sayer

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