Ann Nutr Food Sci | Volume 2, Issue 3 | Research Article | Open Access

Early Feeding Patterns and Subsequent Weight Gain in Infants in Hawaii and Puerto Rico Participating in the WIC Program

Mirinette Neris del Valle1, Jinan Banna2, Maribel Campos3, Cheryl Gibby2 and Cristina Palacios4*

1Department of Nutrition, University of Puerto, Rico
2Department of Human Nutrition, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
3Department of Dental and Craniofacial Genomics Unit, University of Puerto, Rico
4Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University, USA

*Correspondance to: Cristina Palacios 

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Objective: Assess the association between early infant feeding practices and rapid weight gain during the next months among infants’ participants of the WIC Program in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Design: Secondary analysis of data collected in WIC clinics in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. A total of 202 caregivers of infants 0 month to 2 months were recruited and followed for 4 months. Data were collected on the following: socio-demographics, infant feeding patterns (frequency of placing the infant to sleep with a bottle of milk, using the spoon or bottle to feed solids, distractions while feeding infant and frequency of adding foods to the bottle), and infant’s weight and length. Simple logistic regression was conducted to evaluate the associations between early infant feeding patterns with weight rapid weight gain in the next 4 months. The models were adjusted for caregiver’s education, infant’s gender, and site.
Results: A total of 161 infants had complete data; 6.2% were overweight/obese at baseline which increased to 24.8% after 4 months follow-up, with excessive weight gain during this period in 59.0%. There was a significantly lower risk of overweight at follow-up when caregivers encouraged infants to drink more or all of the bottle (p < 0.001) but a significantly higher risk with the use of the bottle to feed solid foods compared to using the spoon (OR: 4.93; 95% CI 1.257, 1.931; p < 0.05) in the unadjusted models. Conclusions: Adding foods to the bottle may increase the risk of overweight in infancy. Longer studies are needed to understand the impact of these practices in weight later in childhood.


Infant; Dietary patterns; Weight gain; Puerto Rico; Hawaii; minorities; WIC Program


del Valle MN, Banna J, Campos M, Gibby C, Palacios C. Early Feeding Patterns and Subsequent Weight Gain in Infants in Hawaii and Puerto Rico Participating in the WIC Program. Ann Nutr Food Sci. 2018; 2(3): 1024.

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