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The Association Between Maternal Infant Feeding Practices and Child Weight at 11-17 Months in First-time Australian Mothers. Jansen E 1 , Daniels L 1 *, Byrne R 1 , Mihrshahi S 1 , Magarey A 1,2 , Nicholson J 3,4
The Association Between Maternal Infant Feeding Practices and Child Weight at 11-17 Months in First-time Australian Mothers
Jansen E1, Daniels L1*, Byrne R1, Mihrshahi S1, Magarey A1,2, Nicholson J 3,4
1 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
2Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
3 Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
4 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
* t:61 (0) 7 3138 6139 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
By 2-3 years of age approximately 15% of Australian children are overweight and a further 4% are obese . Obesity prevention strategies need to start as early as possible and one potential strategy is promoting positive feeding practices. Early feeding practices can influence child food intake, eating behaviours and weight status .
Nonresponsive feeding has been implicated in the development of childhood obesity . Practices such as only allowing an infant to feed at set times, have the potential to override a child’s internal cues of hunger and satiety. This may impair self-regulation of energy intake, leading to overeating and excess energy intake . To date there are very few studies examining feeding practices in children under two years of age and how they relate to child weight status.
Table 2: Characteristics of study sample (N=293)
Examine the cross-sectional associations between maternal infant feeding practices/beliefs and child weight in Australian children aged 11-17 months, taking into account maternal and child-related characteristics
a Difference between weight-for-age z-score at 4 months and weight-for-age z-score at 14 months of age
b N=271 due to missing data on this variable
c Mother’s concern about her own weight; Weight Concern Scale by Killen et al. (1994) ; range 0-5, higher scores indicate more concern; N=287 due
to missing data on this variable
d N=270 due to missing data on this variable
Associations between child weight and feeding practices/beliefs, controlled for all child-related and maternal covariates from Table 2 are presented in the table below. While weight at 14 months was related to 3 out of the 4 feeding practices/beliefs (i.e. concern for under- and overweight, and responsive infant-feeding); change in weight from 4 to 14 months was significantly inversely related to responsive infant-feeding.
Additionally, 5 covariates in total were independently related to weight and change in weight – birth weight, child’s age, mother’s perception of child’s weight status, and mother’s concern about her own weight.
Table 1: New factor structure of IFQ  – 15 items*, 4 factors
Note: Cases with missing data on any independent variable or covariate were excluded; adjusted R2 and Standardized β’s for models including all covariates are reported
DV= dependent variables, IV= independent variables
Note: Words in italic represent minor word changes
* Two items were excluded because they loaded weakly onto a separate factor
R indicates item is reverse coded for scoring. Higher scores on each factor indicate more concern about underweight, more awareness of cues, more concern about overweight, more responsive to feeding on cues
Characteristics of first-time mothers and their children are presented in Table 2.
 Department of Health and Ageing. Canberra, 2008;  Ventura & Birch. Int J BehavNutr Phys Act 2008;5:15;  Hurley et al. J Nutr 2011, 141(3):495-501; DiSantiset al. Int J Obes 2011, 35:480-492;  Daniels et al. Bmc Public Health 2009;9:387;  Baughcumet al. J Dev BehavPediatr 2001;22(6):391-408;  Killenet al. Int J Eat Disorder 1994;16(3):227-38
NOURISH is funded by NHMRC ID 426704.
S Mihrshahi’s post doctoral fellowship is funded by HJ Heinz Co.