Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Acad Nutr Diet


BACKGROUND: Infant feeding practices are thought to shape food acceptance and preferences. However, few studies have evaluated whether these affect child diet later in life.

OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to examine the association between infant feeding practices and dietary patterns (DPs) in school-aged children.

DESIGN: A secondary analysis of data from a diverse prospective birth cohort with 10 years of follow-up (WHEALS [Wayne County Health Environment Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study]) was conducted.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: Children from the WHEALS (Detroit, MI, born 2003 through 2007) who completed a food screener at age 10 years were included (471 of 1,258 original participants).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome was DPs at age 10 years, identified using the Block Kids Food Screener.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS PERFORMED: Latent class analysis was applied for DP identification. Breastfeeding and age at solid food introduction were associated with DPs using a 3-step approach for latent class modeling based on multinomial logistic regression models.

RESULTS: The following childhood DPs were identified: processed/energy-dense food (35%), variety plus high intake (41%), and healthy (24%). After weighting for loss to follow-up and covariate adjustment, compared with formula-fed children at 1 month, breastfed children had 0.41 times lower odds of the processed/energy-dense food DP vs the healthy DP (95% CI 0.14 to 1.25) and 0.53 times lower odds of the variety plus high intake DP (95% CI 0.17 to 1.61), neither of which were statistically significant. Results were similar, but more imprecise, for breastfeeding at 6 months. In addition, the association between age at solid food introduction and DP was nonsignificant, with each 1-month increase in age at solid food introduction associated with 0.81 times lower odds of the processed/energy-dense food DP relative to the healthy DP (95% CI 0.64 to 1.02).

CONCLUSIONS: A significant association between early life feeding practices and dietary patterns at school age was not detected. Large studies with follow-up beyond early childhood that can also adjust for the multitude of potential confounders associated with breastfeeding are needed.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.