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Dietary patterns in infancy: the importance of maternal and family influences on feeding practice

Robinson, Sian, Marriott, Lynne, Poole, Jason, Crozier, Sarah S., Lawrence, Wendy, Law, Catherine, Godfrey, Keith and Inskip, Hazel (2007) Dietary patterns in infancy: the importance of maternal and family influences on feeding practice British Journal of Nutrition, 98, pp. 1029-1037.

Record type: Article


It is not known what constitutes an optimal diet in infancy. There are relatively few studies of weaning practice in the UK, and there is a need for prospective data on the effects of infant diet and nutrition on health in later life. We describe the dietary patterns, defined using principal components analysis of FFQ data, of 1434 infants aged 6 and 12 months, born between 1999 and 2003. The two most important dietary patterns identified at 6 and 12 months were very similar. The first pattern was characterised by high consumption of fruit, vegetables and home-prepared foods ('infant guidelines' pattern). The second pattern was characterised by high consumption of bread, savoury snacks, biscuits and chips ('adult foods' pattern). Dietary pattern scores were correlated at 6 and 12 months (r 0.46 'infant guidelines'; r 0.45 'adult foods'). These patterns, which reflect wide variations in weaning practice, are associated with maternal and family characteristics. A key influence on the infant diet is the quality of the maternal diet. Women who comply with dietary recommendations, and who have high intakes of fruit and vegetables, wholemeal bread and rice and pasta, are more likely to have infants who have comparable diets - with high 'infant guidelines' pattern scores. Conversely, women whose own diets are characterised by high intakes of chips, white bread, crisps and sweets are more likely to have infants who have high 'adult foods' pattern scores. The effects of these patterns on growth and development, and on long-term outcomes need to be investigated.

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Published date: 2007
Keywords: infant, nutrition, women, epidemiology, health, adult, aged, growth, diet, analysis, sws


Local EPrints ID: 61473
ISSN: 0007-1145
PURE UUID: 4fee4f8e-01ad-49e4-85ea-26c4370acdb4
ORCID for Sian Robinson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Keith Godfrey: ORCID iD
ORCID for Hazel Inskip: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 11 Sep 2008
Last modified: 29 Aug 2017 07:12

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Author: Sian Robinson ORCID iD
Author: Lynne Marriott
Author: Jason Poole
Author: Sarah S. Crozier
Author: Wendy Lawrence
Author: Catherine Law
Author: Keith Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: Hazel Inskip ORCID iD

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