Prevalence of premastication among children aged 6-36 months and its association with health: A cross-sectional study in eight cities of China.
Sommaire de l'article
Premastication is thought to be an adaptive behavior in the introduction of complementary plant-bassed food to infants. It arouses controversy, however, because of the potential for transmitting saliva-born infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to explore whether premastication by healthy caregivers was associated with children's health and behavior. The data were collected as part of the Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Growth study. From 8 cities in China, 1341 pairs of infants/toddlers and their caregivers were recruited. An interviewer-administrated questionnaire collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, feeding behaviors, and self-reported health status. Anthropometric measurements were taken and blood samples were collected for analysis of hemoglobin levels. The overall prevalence of premastication was 26.9% and varies from 14-43% among the 8 cities. Premastication was not associated with occurrences of illness or with the nutritional indicators of height-for-age Z score, weight-for-age Z score, weight-for-height Z score, head circumference Z score and hemoglobin (P all >.05). Premastication occurred more often among infants who were raised by their parents (P = .005), whose mothers' education was lower (P < .001), who were subject to more concern from their parents (P = .022), and whose parents thought their children had an obesity problem (P = .001). Presmastication was not associated with food picky behaviors. Premastication is still a common feeding practice in China. More studies are needed to determine the biological, economic, and cultural benefits or harm from premastication.