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Modern and traditional diets for Noongar infants


Prof Sandra J Eades, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Preventive Health, Indigenous maternal and child health, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia. Fax: +613 8532 1100; email:


Aim:  Describe breast- and bottle-feeding patterns and the introduction of solid feeds and sugar containing drinks to the dietary intake of a cohort of urban Aboriginal infants in the first year of life.

Methods:  Two hundred and seventy-four infants were recruited to a cohort study and information about infant nutrition was collected from their mothers during face to face interviews when the infants were aged 6–12 weeks, 7–8 months and 12 months old.

Results:  88.3% of mothers initiated breast-feeding, but only 43.8% of infants were exclusively breast-fed at 6–12 weeks. By 12 months of age 69.8% of babies had received fruit juice in their bottles, 59.8% received cordial. 64.5% of infants were given water in their bottles. The majority of infants had received ‘fast foods’ by 12 months of age with 56.2% had been given coca cola, 68% lemonade and 78% fried chips.

Conclusions:  This study highlights areas in which nutrition health promotion can be targeted to prevent common childhood health problems including promoting and supporting mothers to sustain breast-feeding and opportunities to reduce the sugar and fat intake among infants.