Journal of Immigrant Health

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 137–146 | Cite as

Infant Feeding Practices and Maternal Dietary Intake Among Latino Immigrants in California

  • Sylvia GuendelmanEmail author
  • Anna Maria Siega-Riz


Mothers of 8–16-month-old infants were surveyed to examine infant feeding practices and maternal dietary intake associated with increased years of residency by Mexican immigrant families (n = 1093 mother–infant pairs). Mothers were recruited from San Diego and Contra Costa counties in California during 1992–93. Twenty-nine percent of Mexican mothers living in the United States for <6 years breastfed their infants exclusively for at least 16 weeks; only 20% of mothers living in the United States between 6 and 15 years and 17% of mothers residing in the United States for over 15 years engaged in exclusive breastfeeding. Neither breastfeeding duration nor the introduction of solids differed by years of residency. In contrast, maternal dietary intake varied markedly. Second generation mothers and those living in the United States the longest had significantly higher intakes of vegetables, low fat milk, salty snacks, animal protein, and cereals. Beyond early caregiving practices, the influence of years of residency on the diets of toddlers is less than that of the mothers.

infant feeding practices maternal dietary intake Latinos acculturation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maternal and Child Health Program, School of Public HealthUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeley
  2. 2.Departments of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, School of Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill

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