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Breast vs. bottle: differences in the growth of Croatian infants

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Abstract

The aim of the paper was to compare the growth of rural Croatian infants with 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth standards and to evaluate the potential preventive influence of breastfeeding on the development of obesity in infancy. Two hundred three infant–mother pairs from Baranja, an Eastern region of Croatia, were enrolled into this study. Retrospective evaluation of infants' medical charts was used to obtain anthropometric data recorded at the birth, 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. Infant feeding mode was self‐reported by mothers. Breastfed infants gained the least weight of all observed groups. Up to 6 months of age, formula fed infants had the highest weight gain and after 6 months of age, mixed milk fed infants had the highest weight gain. At 12 months of age, 6.4% of all study infants and 7.6% of mixed milk fed infants were at risk of overweight, while the same risk for the group of breastfed infants was 4%. Most of the study infants achieved higher values of body mass and length than the child growth standards. Exclusively breastfed infants, in comparison with other study groups (formula fed infants, mixed milk fed infants and cow's milk fed infants), had lower weight‐for‐length z‐scores during the first year, which suggests that breastfeeding may have a preventive impact on obesity development.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Medicine, Josipa Huttlera 4, HR-31000 Osijek, Croatia, 2: Department of Food and Nutrition Research, Faculty of Food Technology, Franje Kuhača 20, HR-31000 Osijek, Croatia, 3: Vladimira Nazora 4, HR-31000 Osijek, Croatia, and 4: SS Kranjčevića 13, HR-31326 Darda, Croatia

Publication date: 01 October 2011

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