, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 58-64

Milk Feeding, Solid Feeding, and Obesity Risk: A Review of the Relationships Between Early Life Feeding Practices and Later Adiposity

Abstract

Childhood obesity is a major health issue with associated ill-health consequences during childhood and into later adolescence and adulthood. Given that eating behaviors are formed during early childhood, it is important to evaluate the relationships between early life feeding practices and later child adiposity. This review describes and evaluates recent literature exploring associations between child weight and the mode of milk feeding, the age of introducing solid foods and caregivers’ solid feeding practices. There are many inconsistencies in the literature linking early life feeding to later obesity risk and discrepancies may be related to inconsistent definitions, or a lack of control for confounding variables. This review summarizes the literature in this area and identifies the need for large scale longitudinal studies to effectively explore how early life feeding experiences may interact with each other and with nutritional provision during later childhood to predict obesity risk.