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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 103 (1), 105-11

Exclusive Breastfeeding for 4 Versus 6 Months and Growth in Early Childhood

Randomized Controlled Trial

Exclusive Breastfeeding for 4 Versus 6 Months and Growth in Early Childhood

Olof H Jonsdottir et al. Acta Paediatr.


Aim: To investigate the growth and the prevalence of overweight in early childhood among infants exclusively breastfed for 6 months (EBF) compared with those receiving complementary foods from 4 months of age in addition to breast milk (CF).

Methods: A total of 119 mother-infant pairs were randomised either in the CF or in the EBF group. Weight, length and head circumference of the infants were measured at birth, 6 weeks, and 3-6 months of age. In the follow-up, the children's weight, length and head circumference were measured at 8, 10, 12 and 18 months and weight and height at 29-38 months.

Results: There were no differences between groups in the anthropometric outcome measures of weight-for-age (p = 0.78), length-for-age (p = 0.59), head-circumference-for-age (p = 0.82) and BMI-for-age (p = 0.61), using repeated measurements ANOVA. Furthermore, no difference was seen in the prevalence between groups in risk of being overweight or in those who were overweight at 18 months and 29-38 months of age.

Conclusion: Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4 or 6 months of life does not seem to affect the risk of being overweight or the prevalence of those who were overweight in early childhood.

Keywords: Complementary feeding; Exclusive breastfeeding; Growth; Overweight; Randomised trial.

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