Do infants fed directly from the breast have improved appetite regulation and slower growth during early childhood compared with infants fed from a bottle?
Subject: Breast feeding (Laws, regulations and rules)
Breast feeding (Health aspects)
Child development (Research)
Appetite (Control)
Author: Ross, Catherine
Pub Date: 11/01/2012
Publication: Name: Breastfeeding Review Publisher: Australian Breastfeeding Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Australian Breastfeeding Association ISSN: 0729-2759
Issue: Date: Nov, 2012 Source Volume: 20 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime; 310 Science & research Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Government regulation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 310739993
Full Text: Do infants fed directly from the breast have improved appetite regulation and slower growth during early childhood compared with infants fed from a bottle? DiSantis KI, Collins BN, Fisher, JO Davey A 2011, Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 8: 89.

Even in the younger strata of the population, obesity is a major problem, with recent findings showing over 10% of all US infants and toddlers, and some 20 million children worldwide under 5 are overweight. With attention focussing on prevention strategies early in life, evidence has highlighted the protective effect of breastfeeding accounting for up to a 30% reduction in adulthood obesity risk, although the mechanisms behind the effect remain unclear. Possible explanations have centred on the composition of human milk versus artificial baby milk and its effect on adipose tissue growth and insulin response, or on behavioural factors such as appetite regulation. This study aimed to determine the association of direct breastfeeding in early infancy with later appetite regulation behaviours in 3-6-year-olds, with the emphasis on satiety response, food responsiveness and food enjoyment.

One hundred and nine children in the 3-6-year age group were classified into three groups--directly (exclusively) breastfed, bottle-fed human milk, or bottle-fed artificial baby milk in their first 3 months of life. Using a Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) and multinomial logistic regression analysis, the study analysed whether children bottle-fed either human milk or artificial baby milk had reduced odds of high satiety and increased odds of high food responsiveness and high enjoyment of food in comparison to children fed directly from the breast. Current weight status and growth trends between 3 and 26 months were also checked for relationship to direct breastfeeding and appetite regulation history. Controls were established for age, weight, maternal ethnicity and education.

Results showed that children fed human milk from a bottle were 67% less likely to have high satiety responsiveness in comparison to directly breastfed children. Children fed artificial baby milk from a bottle did not differ significantly from children who were directly breastfed in terms of appetite regulation and this may have been due to the small sample size of artificial baby milk fed children (n=22). There was no association with bottle feeding in any form with young children's responsiveness and food enjoyment, nor was there a link to weight status or growth trajectories from 6 to 36 months.

This research suggests that direct breastfeeding in early infancy can correlate to increased appetite regulation effects in later childhood and the findings point to behavioural process differences surrounding feeding method and a link to satiety levels. A deeper understanding of this link through further research could identify new ways to reduce prevalent paediatric obesity levels.

The authors acknowledged the limitations of this study including use of the maternal recall method for feeding type, child appetite regulation questionnaires without observational data, the limited social diversity of the group analysed and the low percentage of children who were fed artificial baby milk only from birth, which reduced the power of comparisons between children who were directly breastfed and children who were bottle fed artificial baby milk from birth. CR

CR Catherine Ross BBus
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.