The aim of this study was to quantify the excess cases of pediatric and maternal disease, death, and costs attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding rates in the United States. Using the current literature on the associations between breastfeeding and health outcomes for nine pediatric and five maternal diseases, we created Monte Carlo simulations modeling a hypothetical cohort of U.S. women followed from age 15 to age 70 years and their children from birth to age 20 years. We examined disease outcomes using (a) 2012 breastfeeding rates and (b) assuming that 90% of infants were breastfed according to medical recommendations. We measured annual excess cases, deaths, and associated costs, in 2014 dollars, using a 2% discount rate. Annual excess deaths attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding total 3,340 (95% confidence interval [1,886 to 4,785]), 78% of which are maternal due to myocardial infarction ( n = 986), breast cancer ( n = 838), and diabetes ( n = 473). Excess pediatric deaths total 721, mostly due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( n = 492) and necrotizing enterocolitis ( n = 190). Medical costs total $3.0 billion, 79% of which are maternal. Costs of premature death total $14.2 billion. The number of women needed to breastfeed as medically recommended to prevent an infant gastrointestinal infection is 0.8; acute otitis media, 3; hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infection, 95; maternal hypertension, 55; diabetes, 162; and myocardial infarction, 235. For every 597 women who optimally breastfeed, one maternal or child death is prevented. Policies to increase optimal breastfeeding could result in substantial public health gains. Breastfeeding has a larger impact on women's health than previously appreciated.
Identifying modifiable risk factor for exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) interruption is key for improving child health globally. There is no consensus about the effect of pacifier use on EBF interruption. Thus, the aim of this systematic review was to investigate the association between pacifier use and EBF interruption during the first six month. A search of CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, LILACS and Medline; from inception through 30 December 2014 without restriction of language yielded 1,866 publications (PROSPERO protocol CRD42014014527). Predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria peer reviewed yielded 46 studies: two clinical trials, 20 longitudinal, and 24 cross‐sectional studies. Meta‐analysis was performed and meta‐regression explored heterogeneity across studies. The pooled effect of the association between pacifier use and EBF interruption was 2.48 OR (95% CI = 2.16–2.85). Heterogeneity was explained by the study design (40.2%), followed by differences in the measurement and categorization of pacifier use, the methodological quality of the studies and the socio‐economic context. Two RCT's with very limited external validity found a null association, but 44 observational studies, including 20 prospective cohort studies, did find a consistent association between pacifier use and risk of EBF interruption (OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.78–2.93). Our findings support the current WHO recommendation on pacifier use as it focuses on the risk of poor breastfeeding outcomes as a result of pacifier use. Future studies that take into account the risks and benefits of pacifier use are needed to clarify this recommendation.
Age‐appropriate complementary feeding practices are far from optimal among low‐ and middle‐income countries with available data. The evidence on the association between feeding practices and linear growth is mixed. We sought to systematically examine the association between two indictors of dietary quality—dietary diversity and animal source food (ASF) consumption (WHO, 2008)—and stunting (length‐for‐age z‐score) employing existing data from 39 Demographic and Health Surveys. Data on 74,548 children aged 6–23 months were pooled and multiple logistic regression models, adjusting for child, maternal, and household characteristics, employed to assess the association between dietary quality and stunting. Stratified models by child age and by World Bank country‐income classifications (World Bank, 2015) were also applied. Children aged 6–23 months consuming zero food groups in the previous day had a 1.345 higher odds of being stunted when compared to the reference group (≥5 food groups); those who did not consume any ASF in the previous day had a 1.436 higher odds of being stunted compared to children consuming all three types of ASF (egg, meat, and dairy). We estimated that 2,629 cases of stunting would have been averted (12.6% of those stunted) among the population studied if all children had consumed five or more food groups. Outcomes by country‐income groupings showed larger associations of diet diversity and ASF consumption for upper‐ and lower‐middle income countries compared to low‐income countries. In summary, dietary diversity and ASF consumption were associated with stunting, with associations varying by stratified groups.
This study examined whether toddlers' liking for fruit and vegetables (FV) predicts intake of FV later in childhood, how both relate to childhood adiposity and how these were moderated by factors in infancy. Children in the Gateshead Millennium Study were recruited at birth in 1999–2000. Feeding data collected in the first year were linked to data from a parental questionnaire completed for 456 children at age 2.5 years (30 m) and to anthropometry, skinfolds and bioelectrical impedance and 4‐day food diary data collected for 293 of these children at age 7 years. Aged 30 months, 50% of children were reported to like eight different vegetables and three fruits, but at 7 years, children ate a median of only 1.3 (range 0–7) portions of vegetables and 1.0 portion of fruit (0–4). Early appetite, feeding problems and food neophobia showed significant univariate associations with liking for FV aged 30 m, but the number of vegetables toddlers liked was the only independent predictor of vegetable consumption at age 7 years (odds ratio (OR) 1.28 p < 0.001). Liking for fruit aged 30 m also independently predicted fruit intake (OR = 1.31, p = 0.016), but these were also related to deprivation (OR = 2.69, p = 0.001) maternal education (OR = 1.28, p = 0.039) and female gender (OR = 1.8, p = 0.024). Children eating more FV at age 7 years had slightly lower body mass index and skinfolds. An early liking for FV predicted increased later intake, so increasing early exposure to FV could have long term beneficial consequences.
Studies have identified an association between watching television (TV) and childhood obesity. This review adds context to existing research by examining the associations between TV viewing, whilst eating, and children's diet quality. Web of Science and PubMed databases were searched from January 2000 to June 2014. Cross‐sectional trials of case control or cohort studies, which included baseline data, measuring the associations between eating whilst watching TV and children's food and drink intake. Quality of selected papers was assessed. Thirteen studies, representing 61,674 children aged 1–18 yrs, met inclusion criteria. Of six studies reporting overall food habits, all found a positive association between TV viewing and consumption of pizza, fried foods, sweets, and snacks. Of eight studies looking at fruit and vegetable consumption, seven identified a negative association with eating whilst watching TV ( p < .0001). Four out of five studies identified a positive association between watching TV whilst eating and servings of sugar‐sweetened beverages ( p < .0001). Four studies identified an association between low socioeconomic status and increased likelihood of eating whilst watching TV ( p ≤ .01). Family meals did not overcome the adverse impact on diet quality of having the TV on at mealtimes. Eating whilst watching television is associated with poorer diet quality among children, including more frequent consumption of sugar‐sweetened beverages and high‐fat, high‐sugar foods and fewer fruits and vegetables. Although these differences in consumption are small, the cumulative effect may contribute to the positive association between eating whilst watching TV and childhood obesity.
Interventions to improve nutritional status of young children in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMIC) may have the added benefit of improving their mental and motor development. This meta‐analysis updates and goes beyond previous ones by answering two important questions: (1) do prenatal and postnatal nutritional inputs improve mental development, and (2) are effects on mental development associated with two theoretically interesting mediators namely physical growth and motor development? The meta‐analysis of articles on Medline, PsycINFO, Global Health and Embase was limited to randomized trials in LMICs, with mental development of children from birth to age two years as an outcome. The initial yield of 2689 studies was reduced to 33; 12 received a global quality rating of strong. Of the 10 prenatal and 23 postnatal nutrition interventions, the majority used zinc, iron/folic acid, vitamin A or multiple micronutrients, with a few evaluating macronutrients. The weighted mean effect size, Cohen's d (95% CI) for prenatal and postnatal nutrition interventions on mental development was 0.042 (−0.0084, 0.092) and 0.076 (0.019, 0.13), respectively. Postnatal supplements consisting of macronutrients yielded an effect size d (95% CI) of 0.14 (0.0067, 0.27), multiple micronutrients 0.082 (−0.012, 0.18) and single micronutrients 0.058 (−0.0015, 0.12). Motor development, but not growth status, effect sizes were significantly associated with mental development in postnatal interventions. In summary, nutrition interventions had small effects on mental development. Future studies might have greater effect if they addressed macronutrient deficiencies combined with child stimulation and hygiene and sanitation interventions.
While the composition of human milk has been studied extensively in the first year of lactation, there is a paucity of data regarding human milk composition beyond one year postpartum. Policies vary at milk banks around the world regarding how long lactating women are eligible to donate their milk. The primary purpose of this study is to describe longitudinal changes in human milk composition in the second year postpartum to support the development of evidence based guidelines regarding how long lactating women can donate human milk to a milk bank. Nineteen lactating women in North Carolina provided monthly milk samples from 11 months to 17 months postpartum ( N = 131), and two non‐profit milk banks provided ( N = 33) pooled, unpasteurized milk samples from 51 approved donors less than one year postpartum. There was a significant increase ( P < 0.05) in the concentration of total protein, lactoferrin, lysozyme, Immunoglobulin A, oligosaccharides and sodium in longitudinal samples of mother's milk between 11 and 17 months postpartum, while zinc and calcium concentrations declined, and no changes were observed in lactose, fat, iron and potassium. Human milk in the second year postpartum contained significantly higher concentrations of total protein, lactoferrin, lysozyme and Immunoglobulin A, than milk bank samples, and significantly lower concentrations of zinc, calcium, iron and oligosaccharides. Accepting milk bank donations beyond one year postpartum is a potential strategy for increasing the supply of donor milk, but may require mineral fortification.
Children can be stunted and wasted at the same time. Having both deficits greatly elevates risk of mortality. The analysis aimed to estimate the prevalence and burden of children aged 6–59 months concurrently wasted and stunted. Data from demographic and health survey and Multi‐indicator Cluster Surveys datasets from 84 countries were analysed. Overall prevalence for being wasted, stunted, and concurrently wasted and stunted among children 6 to 59 months was calculated. A pooled prevalence of concurrence was estimated and reported by gender, age, United Nations regions, and contextual categories. Burden was calculated using population figures from the global joint estimates database. The pooled prevalence of concurrence in the 84 countries was 3.0%, 95% CI [2.97, 3.06], ranging from 0% to 8.0%. Nine countries reported a concurrence prevalence greater than 5%. The estimated burden was 5,963,940 children. Prevalence of concurrence was highest in the 12‐ to 24‐month age group 4.2%, 95% CI [4.1, 4.3], and was significantly higher among boys 3.54%, 95% CI [3.47, 3.61], compared to girls; 2.46%, 95% CI [2.41, 2.52]. Fragile and conflict‐affected states reported significantly higher concurrence 3.6%, 95% CI [3.5, 3.6], than those defined as stable 2.24%, 95% CI [2.18, 2.30]. This analysis represents the first multiple country estimation of the prevalence and burden of children concurrently wasted and stunted. Given the high risk of mortality associated with concurrence, the findings indicate a need to report on this condition as well as investigate whether these children are being reached through existing programmes.
There is evidence that suboptimal complementary feeding contributes to poor child growth. However, little is known about time trends and determinants of complementary feeding in Nepal, where the prevalence of child undernutrition remains unacceptably high. The objective of the study was to examine the trends and predictors of suboptimal complementary feeding in Nepali children aged 6–23 months using nationally representative data collected from 2001 to 2014. Data from the 2001, 2006, and 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys and the 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey were used to estimate the prevalence, trends and predictors of four WHO‐UNICEF complementary feeding indicators: timely introduction of complementary foods (INTRO), minimum meal frequency (MMF), minimum dietary diversity (MDD), and minimum acceptable diet (MAD). We used multilevel logistic regression models to identify independent factors associated with these indicators at the individual, household and community levels. In 2014, the weighted proportion of children meeting INTRO, MMF, MDD, and MAD criteria were 72%, 82%, 36% and 35%, respectively, with modest average annual rate of increase ranging from 1% to 2%. Increasing child age, maternal education, antenatal visits, and community‐level access to health care services independently predicted increasing odds of achieving MMF, MDD, and MAD. Practices also varied by ecological zone and sociocultural group. Complementary feeding practices in Nepal have improved slowly in the past 15 years. Inequities in the risk of inappropriate complementary feeding are evident, calling for programme design and implementation to address poor feeding and malnutrition among the most vulnerable Nepali children.
We examined hemoglobin (Hb, g/L), iron status (zinc protoporphyrin, ZPP, µmol/mol heme, and transferrin receptor, TfR, mg/L) and inflammation (C‐reactive protein, CRP and alpha‐1 glycoprotein, AGP) in pregnant Ghanaian women who participated in a randomized controlled trial. Women ( n = 1320) received either 60 mg Fe + 400‐µg folic acid (IFA); 18 micronutrients including 20‐mg Fe (MMN) or small‐quantity lipid‐based nutrient supplements (SQ‐LNS, 118 kcal/d) with the same micronutrient levels as in MMN, plus four additional minerals (LNS) daily during pregnancy. Intention‐to‐treat analysis included 349, 354 and 354 women in the IFA, MMN and LNS groups, respectively, with overall baseline mean Hb and anemia (Hb 60) [9.4% vs. 18.6% and 19.2%; P = 0.003] and elevated TfR (>6.0) [9.0% vs. 19.2% and 15.1%; P = 0.004]. CRP and AGP concentrations did not differ among groups. We conclude that among pregnant women in a semi‐urban setting in Ghana, supplementation with SQ‐LNS or MMN containing 20 mg iron resulted in lower Hb and iron status but had no impact on inflammation, when compared with iron (60 mg) plus folic acid (400 µg). The amount of iron in such supplements that is most effective for improving both maternal Hb/iron status and birth outcomes requires further evaluation. This trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as: NCT00970866.
Evidence supporting the practice of skin‐to‐skin contact and breastfeeding soon after birth points to physiologic, social, and psychological benefits for both mother and baby. The 2009 revision of Step 4 of the WHO/UNICEF “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” elaborated on the practice of skin‐to‐skin contact between the mother and her newly born baby indicating that the practice should be “immediate” and “without separation” unless documented medically justifiable reasons for delayed contact or interruption exist. While in immediate, continuous, uninterrupted skin‐to‐skin contact with mother in the first hour after birth, babies progress through 9 instinctive, complex, distinct, and observable stages including self‐attachment and suckling. However, the most recent Cochrane review of early skin‐to‐skin contact cites inconsistencies in the practice; the authors found “inadequate evidence with respect to details … such as timing of initiation and dose.” This paper introduces a novel algorithm to analyse the practice of skin to skin in the first hour using two data sets and suggests opportunities for practice improvement. The algorithm considers the mother's Robson criteria, skin‐to‐skin experience, and Widström's 9 Stages. Using data from vaginal births in Japan and caesarean births in Australia, the algorithm utilizes data in a new way to highlight challenges to best practice. The use of a tool to analyse the implementation of skin‐to‐skin care in the first hour after birth illuminates the successes, barriers, and opportunities for improvement to achieving the standard of care for babies. Future application should involve more diverse facilities and Robson's classifications.
We analyse data from the 2012 Comprehensive Nutrition Survey in the State of Maharashtra, India, which surveyed 2,630 households. This is a unique dataset because in addition to nutritional status of mothers and children, it has information on diets of women and children and household food security. This rich dataset allows us to address three issues: whether household food security predicts higher diet diversity in children aged 6–23 months; whether household food security predicts lower risk of undernutrition; and whether the lower risk of undernutrition in children who live in food secure households is mediated by improved diet diversity for children. We find that children from moderately food insecure and severely food insecure households are more likely to have lower diet diversity scores. We find that the odds of a child being severely stunted, severely underweight, or severely wasted are higher in severely food insecure households. After controlling for children's diet diversity, and other child, maternal and household characteristics, we find that household food security is no longer statistically associated with stunting, wasting, or underweight. However, diet diversity of children is statistically significantly associated with whether a child is stunted or underweight. Our results although not causal provide evidence for understanding the extent to which household food insecurity affects children's diet diversity and how both these factors affect nutrition outcomes in children. Our analysis informs Government of Maharashtra's and India's National Nutrition Mission in their efforts for formulating appropriate policies and programmes to address child undernutrition.
Evidence supports the establishment of healthy feeding practices early in life to promote lifelong healthy eating patterns protective against chronic disease such as obesity. Current early childhood obesity prevention interventions are built on extant understandings of how feeding practices relate to infant's cues of hunger and satiety. Further insights regarding factors that influence feeding behaviors in early life may improve program designs and outcomes. Four electronic databases were searched for peer‐reviewed qualitative studies published between 2000 to 2014 with transitional infant feeding practice rationale from developed countries. Reporting transparency and potential bias was assessed using the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research quality checklist. Thematic synthesis of 23 manuscripts identified three themes (and six sub‐themes): Theme 1. Infant (physical cues and behavioural cues) focuses on the perceived signs of readiness to start solids and the feeding to influence growth and “health happiness.” Theme 2. Mother (coping strategies and knowledge and skills) focuses on the early survival of the infant and the family and the feeding to satisfy hunger and influence infant contentment, and sleep. Theme 3. Community (pressure and inconsistent advice) highlights the importance of generational feeding and how conflicting feeding advice led many mothers to adopt valued familial or culturally established practices. Overall, mothers were pivotal to feeding decisions. Satisfying infant's needs to reach “good mothering” status as measured by societal expectations was highly valued but lacked consideration of nutrition, obesity, and long term health. Maternal interpretation of healthy infant feeding and successful parenting need attention when developing strategies to support new families.
This article presents a systematic literature review on whether dietary intake influences the risk for perinatal depression, i.e. depression during pregnancy or post-partum. Such a link has been hypothesized given that certain nutrients are important in the neurotransmission system and pregnancy depletes essential nutrients. PubMed, EMBASE and CINAHL databases were searched for relevant articles until 30 May 2015. We included peer-reviewed studies of any design that evaluated whether perinatal depression is related to dietary intake, which was defined as adherence to certain diets, food-derived intake of essential nutrients or supplements. We identified 4808 studies, of which 35 fulfilled inclusion criteria: six randomized controlled trials, 12 cohort, one case-control and 16 cross-sectional studies, representing 88051 distinct subjects. Studies were grouped into four main categories based on the analysis of dietary intake: adherence to dietary patterns (nine studies); full panel of essential nutrients (six studies); specific nutrients (including B vitamins, Vitamin D, calcium and zinc; eight studies); and intake of fish or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs; 12 studies). While 13 studies, including three PUFA supplementation trials, found no evidence of an association, 22 studies showed protective effects from healthy dietary patterns, multivitamin supplementation, fish and PUFA intake, calcium, Vitamin D, zinc and possibly selenium. Given the methodological limitations of existing studies and inconsistencies in findings across studies, the evidence on whether nutritional factors influence the risk of perinatal depression is still inconclusive. Further longitudinal studies are needed, with robust and consistent measurement of dietary intake and depressive symptoms, ideally starting before pregnancy.
Insufficient quantities and inadequate quality of complementary foods, together with poor feeding practices, pose a threat to children's health and nutrition. Interventions to improve complementary feeding are critical to reduce all forms of malnutrition, and access to data to ascertain the status of complementary feeding practices is essential for efforts to improve feeding behaviours. However, sufficient data to generate estimates for the core indicators covering the complementary feeding period only became available recently. The current situation of complementary feeding at the global and regional level is reported here using data contained within the UNICEF global database. Global rates of continued breastfeeding drop from 74.0% at 1 year of age to 46.3% at 2 years of age. Nearly a third of infants 4–5 months old are already fed solid foods, whereas nearly 20% of 10–11 months old had not consumed solid foods during the day prior to their survey. Of particular concern is the low rate (28.2%) of children 6–23 months receiving at least a minimally diverse diet. Although rates for all indicators vary by background characteristics, feeding behaviours are suboptimal even in richest households, suggesting that cultural factors and poor knowledge regarding an adequate diet for young children are important to address. In summary, far too few children are benefitting from minimum complementary feeding practices. Efforts are needed not only to improve children's diets for their survival, growth, and development but also for governments to report on progress against global infant and young child feeding indicators on a regular basis.
The availability and consumption of commercially produced foods and beverages have increased across low‐income and middle‐income countries. This cross‐sectional survey assessed consumption of commercially produced foods and beverages among children 6–23 months of age, and mothers' exposure to promotions for these products. Health facility‐based interviews were conducted among 218 randomly sampled mothers utilizing child health services in Dakar, Senegal; 229 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 228 in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal; and 222 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In the day prior to the interview, 58.7% of 6–23‐month‐olds in Dakar, 23.1% in Dar es Salaam, 74.1% in Kathmandu Valley, and 55.0% in Phnom Penh had consumed a commercially produced snack food. In the previous week, the majority of children in Dakar (79.8%), Kathmandu Valley (91.2%), and Phnom Penh (80.6%) had consumed such products. Consumption of commercially produced sugar‐sweetened beverages was noted among 32.0% of Phnom Penh, 29.8% of Dakar, 23.1% of Dar es Salaam, and 16.2% of Kathmandu Valley children. Maternal education was negatively associated with commercial snack food consumption in Dakar and Kathmandu Valley. Children of Phnom Penh mothers in the lowest wealth tercile were 1.5 times more likely to consume commercial snack food products, compared to wealthier mothers. These snack consumption patterns during the critical complementary feeding period demand attention; such products are often high in added sugars and salt, making them inappropriate for infants and young children.
Nipple pain and damage are commonly experienced by breastfeeding women and are associated with negative breastfeeding outcomes. Health care providers often recommend the application of lanolin to treat painful/damaged nipples, yet no randomized controlled trial has evaluated the effectiveness of lanolin on nipple pain and breastfeeding outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of lanolin on nipple pain among breastfeeding women with damaged nipples. A randomized, single‐blind, controlled trial was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Breastfeeding women ( N = 186) identified as having nipple pain/damage were randomized to apply lanolin (intervention group; n = 93) or to receive usual postpartum care (control group; n = 93). The primary outcome was nipple pain at 4 days post‐randomization measured by the Numeric Rating Scale. Additional outcomes included nipple pain measured by the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, breastfeeding duration/exclusivity, breastfeeding self‐efficacy, and maternal satisfaction with lanolin treatment versus usual care. The results revealed no significant group differences in mean pain scores at 4 days post‐randomization. Women in both groups experienced clinically relevant decreases in nipple pain by 7 days post‐randomization. Significantly, more women in the lanolin group reported that they were satisfied with treatment compared with those receiving usual care. No significant group differences were found for other secondary outcomes. While more women were satisfied using lanolin, its application to sore/damaged nipples was ineffective for reducing nipple pain or improving breastfeeding outcomes.
A systematic review was undertaken to identify intervention characteristics associated with increasing consumption of vegetables in children (2-12years). PubMed, PsychINFO and CABabstracts were used to identify studies published between 2004-2014 that had measures of vegetable consumption, a minimum of 3-month follow-up and were conducted in home and community settings (outside of schools). Twenty-two studies were included in the review. Details of the study design, population, setting, intervention characteristics, target behaviour, behaviour change techniques used and vegetable intake were extracted. Study quality and intensity were scored. Overall, 12/22 studies were effective short-term, and 6/10 were effective long-term (6+months); mean short-term change in vegetable intake was 29%, equating to an increase of a quarter to a half of a serving of vegetables. Intervention effectiveness was associated with number of settings targeted and frequency of contact but not length of intervention. Planning for social support, vegetable exposure and provision of staff training were commonly used behaviour change techniques in effective interventions. This review has identified strategies that may optimise effectiveness of future home-based and community-based interventions aiming to increase vegetable intake in young children.