Breastfeeding duration is associated with child diet at 6 years.
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE
Breastfeeding has been associated with early infant food preferences, but less is known about how breastfeeding is associated with later child diet. The objective of this study was to assess whether any and exclusive breastfeeding duration are associated with child diet at 6 years.
We linked data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II and Year 6 Follow-Up. We used approximately monthly questionnaires throughout infancy to calculate any and exclusive breastfeeding duration (n = 1355). We calculated median daily frequency of intake of water, milk, 100% juice, fruits, vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, and savory snacks at 6 years from a dietary screener and examined frequency of consumption of each food or beverage group by any and exclusive breastfeeding duration. We used separate multivariable logistic regression models to calculate odds of consuming more than the median daily frequency of intake of food or beverage items, adjusting for confounders.
Intake of milk, sweets, and savory snacks at 6 years was not associated with any or exclusive breastfeeding duration in unadjusted analyses. Frequency of consumption of water, fruits, and vegetables was positively associated, and intake of sugar-sweetened beverages was inversely associated with any and exclusive breastfeeding duration in adjusted models; 100% juice consumption was inversely associated with exclusive breastfeeding duration only.
Among many other health benefits, breastfeeding is associated with a number of healthier dietary behaviors at age 6. The association between breastfeeding and child diet may be an important factor to consider when examining associations between breastfeeding and child obesity and chronic diseases.