Background: Systematic reviews (SRs) were conducted by the Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR) team for the USDA's and the Department of Health and Human Services' Pregnancy and Birth to 24 Months Project.
Objectives: The aim was to describe the SRs examining the relationship between types and amounts of complementary foods and beverages (CFBs) and growth, size, and body-composition outcomes.
Methods: The NESR team collaborated with subject matter experts to conduct this SR. The literature was searched and screened using predetermined criteria. For each included study, data were extracted and risk of bias was assessed. The evidence was qualitatively synthesized to develop a conclusion statement, and the strength of evidence was graded.
Results: This SR includes 49 articles that examined type, amount, or both of CFBs consumed and growth, size, and body-composition outcomes. Moderate evidence suggests that consuming either different amounts of meat, meat instead of iron-fortified cereal, or types of CFBs with different fats or fatty acids does not favorably or unfavorably influence growth, size, or body composition. In relation to overweight/obesity, insufficient evidence is available with regard to the intake of meat or CFBs with different fats or fatty acids. Limited evidence suggests that type and amount of fortified infant cereal does not favorably or unfavorably influence growth, size, body composition, or overweight/obesity. Limited evidence suggests that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption during the complementary feeding period is associated with increased obesity risk in childhood but is not associated with other measures of growth, size, or body composition. Limited evidence showed a positive association between juice intake and infant weight-for-length and child body mass index z scores. Insufficient evidence is available on other CFBs or dietary patterns in relation to outcomes.
Conclusions: Although several conclusions were drawn, additional research is needed that includes randomized controlled trials, examines a wider range of CFBs, considers issues of reverse causality, and adjusts for potential confounders to address gaps and limitations in the evidence.
Keywords: body composition; complementary feeding; growth; infants; size; systematic review; toddlers.
© American Society for Nutrition 2019.