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Relationship between maternal obesity and infant feeding-interactions

Author(s): Rising Russell | Lifshitz Fima

Journal: Nutrition Journal
ISSN 1475-2891

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Abstract Background There are no data regarding the relationship between maternal adiposity and interaction and feeding of infants and possible contribution to childhood obesity. In this study we determined the relationship between maternal body weight and composition and infant feeding patterns and maternal-infant interaction during 24-hour metabolic rate measurements in the Enhanced Metabolic Testing Activity Chamber (EMTAC). Methods The amount of time four obese (BMI = 33.5 ± 5.3 kg/m2) and three normal weight (BMI = 23.1 ± 0.6 kg/m2) biological mothers, spent feeding and interacting with their infants, along with what they ingested, was recorded during 24-hour metabolic rate measurements in the EMTAC. The seven infants were 4.9 ± 0.7 months, 69 ± 3 cm, 7.5 ± 0.8 kg, 26 ± 3 % fat and 29 ± 25 percentile for weight for length. Energy and macronutrient intake (kcal/kg) were assessed. Maternal body composition was determined by air displacement plethysmorgraphy and that of the infants by skin-fold thicknesses. Pearson correlations and independent t-tests were utilized for statistical analysis (p < 0.05). Results Infants born to obese biological mothers consumed more energy (87.6 ± 18.9 vs. 68.1 ± 17.3) and energy as carbohydrate (25 ± 6 vs.16 ± 3; p < 0.05) than their normal weight counterparts. Most of the increased intake was due to complementary feedings. Twenty-four hour infant energy intake increased with both greater maternal body weight (r = 0.73;p < 0.06) and percent body fat. Furthermore, obese biological mothers spent less total time interacting (570 ± 13 vs. 381 ± 30 minutes) and feeding (298 ± 32 vs.176 ± 22 minutes) (p < 0.05) their infants than their normal weight counterparts. Twenty-four hour interaction time negatively correlated with both maternal body weight (r = -0.98; p < 0.01) and percent body fat (r = -0.92; p < 0.01). Moreover, infants of obese mothers slept more (783 ± 38 vs. 682 ± 32 minutes; p < 0.05) than their normal weight counterparts. However, there were no differences in total 24-hour energy expenditure, resting and sleeping metabolic rates (kcal/kg) for infants born to obese and normal weight biological mothers. Conclusion Greater maternal body weight and percent body fat were associated with greater infant energy intakes. These infants were fed less frequently and consumed more carbohydrates in a shorter period of time as compared to infants from normal weight biological mothers. These variations in feeding patterns may predispose certain infants to obesity.

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