Breastfeeding during the first year promotes satiety responsiveness in children aged 18–24 months
Article first published online: 21 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 7, Issue 5, pages 382–390, October 2012
How to Cite
Brown, A. and Lee, M. (2012), Breastfeeding during the first year promotes satiety responsiveness in children aged 18–24 months. Pediatric Obesity, 7: 382–390. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2012.00071.x
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 APR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 23 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 24 MAR 2012
- ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
- child eating behaviour;
- maternal control;
- satiety responsiveness
- Infants who are formula fed have an increased risk of overweight and obesity compared to breastfed infants.
- Individuals who are satiety responsive, matching their intake of energy to need, are more likely to be a healthy weight.
- Breastfeeding may promote satiety responsiveness as the infant has greater opportunity to regulate their intake of milk in comparison to being fed with a bottle. However little research has been conducted on this relationship.
- Children who were breastfed during the first year show increased satiety responsiveness during the second year compared to those who were formula fed.
- At least six weeks of breastfeeding was needed for infants to be more satiety responsive than infants who were formula fed.
- The infant – led nature of breastfeeding may enable infants to develop increased satiety responsiveness compared to formula feeding which is open to greater caregiver manipulation.
Breastfeeding may reduce childhood risk of overweight. One explanation for this is that the baby-led nature of breastfeeding promotes appetite regulation as the infant has increased control of the amount consumed. However, the relationship between breastfeeding and later child eating style is largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to examine the association between infant milk feeding and later child appetite responsiveness.
Two hundred and ninety-eight mothers reported breastfeeding duration and exclusivity up to 6 months post-partum when their infant was aged 6–12 months old. In phase 2, mothers completed the satiety responsiveness and food responsiveness scales of the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire and the Child Feeding Questionnaire. Infant's birth and current weight were collected.
Infants who were breastfed for a longer duration were rated as more satiety responsive (P = 0.001), although no difference was seen for feeding method at birth. Compared to infants who were formula fed from birth, at least 6 weeks of breastfeeding was required for increased satiety responsiveness to emerge. This relationship was independent of the current maternal child feeding style. Food responsivity was unrelated to any breastfeeding behaviour.
Breastfeeding may promote satiety responsiveness potentially through the baby-led nature of feeding.