Background/Objectives:Breastfeeding has a protective effect on childhood obesity, but the influences on body composition in early childhood are not known. The objective of this study is to assess whether the duration and exclusiveness of breastfeeding, and the timing of introduction of solid foods are associated with the subcutaneous fat mass in early childhood.Subjects/ Methods:This study was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study among 779 children. Peripheral (biceps, triceps) and central (suprailiacal and subscapular) subcutaneous fat mass was measured as skinfold thickness at the ages of 1.5, 6 and 24 months.Results:Breastfeeding duration was not associated with subcutaneous fat mass at the age of 1.5 months. Shorter breastfeeding was associated with higher peripheral and total subcutaneous fat mass at the age of 6 months (P-value for trend 0.05), but not at the age of 24 months. As compared to children who were exclusively breast fed for 4 months, those who were non-exclusively breast fed had a higher central fat mass at the age of 24 months (P-value for trend <0.01). Timing of introduction of solid foods was not associated with subcutaneous fat mass.Conclusion:Our results suggest that a shorter duration and non-exclusive breastfeeding affect early body composition during the first 2 years of life. Follow-up studies at older ages are needed to explore the long-term consequences.

breastfeeding, infant feeding, obesity, pediatrics, skinfold, solid foods
dx.doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2011.174, hdl.handle.net/1765/68460
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Durmus, B, Ay, L, Duijts, L, Moll, H.A, Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S, Raat, H, … Jaddoe, V.W.V. (2012). Infant diet and subcutaneous fat mass in early childhood: The Generation R Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 66(2), 253–260. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.174