Infant feeding patterns in the Finnish type I diabetes prediction and prevention nutrition study cohort

M. Erkkola, H. M. Pigg, P. Virta-Autio, A. Hekkala, E. Hyppönen, M. Knip, Suvi M. Virtanen

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    Objective: To investigate infant feeding patterns during the first 2y and their relation to sociodemographic factors. Design: A population-based cohort study. Setting: Oulu and Tampere University Hospital district areas 1996-1999, Finland. Subjects and methods: All newborn infants (n = 675) with increased genetic risk for type I diabetes were invited to the study in 1996-1997. Of these, 429 (64%) completed the dietary follow-up form by the time they reached 2y of age. Results: The median duration of exclusive breastfeeding (BF) was 1.8 months (range 0-6 months) and that of total BF 7.0 months (0.3-25 months). Among the infants 20% were exclusively breastfed at least 4 months (recommendation 4-6 months). Infants were introduced to infant formula at the median age of 1.8 months (range 0-25 months) and other supplementary foods at the median age of 3.5 months (1-6 months). Infant's ponderal index at birth was inversely associated with the duration of total BF. The age of introduction of supplementary foods correlated positively with the duration of total BF. Longer parental education and increased maternal age were associated with a longer duration of BF and older age at introduction of supplementary foods. Infant formula and other supplementary foods were added earlier to the diet of the boys than that of the girls. Conclusion: Duration of breastfeeding in Finland is shorter than recommended. Compliance with the current recommendations on the timing of introduction of first supplementary food and dairy products is relatively poor. The diet during infancy seems to be conspicuously influenced by the duration of parental education, maternal age and the sex of the infant.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-113
    Number of pages7
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2005


    • Breastfeeding
    • Infant formula
    • Sociodemographic factors
    • Supplementary food

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics

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