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BMJ Open 2: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000298
  • Nutrition & metabolism
    • Research

Baby knows best? The impact of weaning style on food preferences and body mass index in early childhood in a case–controlled sample

Table 1

Outcomes on weaning style and infant feeding, socioeconomic status scores, picky eating and BMI*

Characteristic Baby-led (n=92) Spoon-fed (n=63) p Value
Child age at testing (months) 32.12 (10.30) 41.62 (13.58) <0.0001
Female 57.6% (53/92) 39.7% (25/63) 0.03
Handled food from introduction of solids 96.7% (89/92) 15.87% (10/63) <0.0001
Exposed to pureed food 32.6% (30/92) 100% (63/63) 0.0001
First exposed to finger food (age in months) 6.49 (1.41) 7.10 (1.63) 0.001
Child was breastfed 98.9% (91/92) 88.9% (56/63) 0.008
Duration (months) of breastfeeding 23.70 (11.27) 9.50 (9.30) <0.0001
Socioeconomic status: IDACI score 0.11 (0.08) 0.14 (0.11) 0.17
Socioeconomic status: IDACI rank 19566.81 (8304.26) 21679.33 (7218.74) 0.16
Birth weight (lbs/oz) 7.64 (2.70) 7.09 (1.31) 0.09
Child BMI: NHS UK percentile rank 54.38 (28.91)§ 64.79 (26.20) 0.05
Child BMI: CDC US percentile rank 48.46 (29.71)§ 61.44 (26.98) 0.009
Parent BMI 24.08 (5.46) 24.91 (1.31) 0.91
Child is picky eater 18.5% (17/92) 23.8% (15/63) 0.43
  • * Means and SDs are shown in parentheses for continuous variables. Analyses were conducted on the whole sample.

  • In the matched sample (used to analyse weaning style preference data), there was no gender difference (table 2).

  • There was no difference in breastfeeding between the groups in the matched sample (92% were breastfed in the spoon-fed group compared to 97% in the baby-led group) (χ2=0.30, p=0.62).

  • § BMI data were missing from 29/92 (32%) because parents had not weighed or measured their child recently. Within the baby-led group, there was no difference in preference ratings between those children with BMI scores and those without (max U=151.5, p=0.88, for protein).

  • BMI, body mass index; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; NHS, National Health Service; IDACI, Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index.

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