The impact of complementary feeding foods of animal origin on growth and the risk of overweight in infants

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Journal: Animal Frontiers

Publication Date: 9/2019

Summary: Evidence-based consensus holds that the first year of life is critical in obesity programming and unfavorable infant growth patterns, namely, excessive weight gain in relation to length gain or increased weight-for-length Z score, is strongly associated with obesity in young children and adolescents. Given the current obesity rates in U.S. children, identifying modifiable risk factors underpinning excessive weight and adiposity gain early in life are urgently needed. Although extensive research has been done on infant formula consumption and risk of overweight, a significant knowledge gap exists in the effects of complementary feeding on growth and risk of overweight during late infancy, especially regarding protein-rich foods. This review will present current literature on the impact of complementary foods of animal origin on growth trajectory and the risk of overweight in infants and discuss the potential mechanisms linking protein-rich complementary foods to infant growth and future research recommendations.

Key Takeaways

The first year of life is a crucial developmental period, and the foods consumed within this time can result in increased risk of obesity. Infants fed with formula rather than breast milk are more likely to be overweight or obese, and more research is needed to determine the mechanism for this.

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