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Maternal and infant correlates of maternal feeding beliefs and practices in a multi-ethnic Asian population: the GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes) study

  • Phaik Ling Quah (a1), Tuck Seng Cheng (a2), Yin Bun Cheung (a3) (a4), Fabian Yap (a2) (a5), Seang-Mei Saw (a6), Keith M Godfrey (a7) (a8), Peter D Gluckman (a1) (a9), Yap-Seng Chong (a1) (a10) and Mary Foong-Fong Chong (a1) (a11) (a12)...

Abstract

Objective

Little is known about the influences of maternal and infant correlates on maternal feeding beliefs and practices in the first 2 years of life, despite its important role in early obesogenic eating behaviours and weight gain.

Design

Cross-sectional study using demographic data of mothers and infants obtained at 26–28 weeks of gestation, and postnatally from birth to 15 months, respectively. The Infant Feeding Questionnaire was administered at 15 months postpartum. The associations between maternal and infant characteristics with seven maternal feeding beliefs and practices subscales were evaluated using multivariate linear regression analysis.

Setting

Data obtained from the Singapore GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes) mother–offspring birth cohort.

Subjects

Mothers and infants (n 1237).

Results

Among other maternal correlates such as age, education, BMI, income and milk feeding practices, ethnicity was a consistent factor associated with six subscales, including concern about infant overeating/undereating and weight status, concern and awareness about infants’ hunger and satiety cues, social interaction during feeding and feeding an infant on schedule. Similarly, among infant correlates such as gender and birth order, infant body size gain (reflected by BMI Z-score change from 0 to 15 months) was significantly associated with all subscales except feeding an infant on schedule. Overall, maternal correlates had greater influence on all subscales compared with infant correlates except for the maternal concern about infant undereating or becoming underweight subscale.

Conclusions

The present study highlights that maternal feeding beliefs and practices can be influenced by both maternal correlates and infant correlates at 15 months of age.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email mary_chong@sics.a-star.edu.sg

References

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