Chronic disease and infant nutrition: Is it significant to public health?

Smith, Julie P. and Harvey, Peta J. (2011) Chronic disease and infant nutrition: Is it significant to public health?. Public Health Nutrition, 14 2: 279-289. doi:10.1017/S1368980010001953

Author Smith, Julie P.
Harvey, Peta J.
Title Chronic disease and infant nutrition: Is it significant to public health?
Journal name Public Health Nutrition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1475-2727
Publication date 2011
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1368980010001953
Volume 14
Issue 2
Start page 279
End page 289
Total pages 11
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective To assess the public health significance of premature weaning of infants from breast milk on later-life risk of chronic illness.

Design A review and summary of recent meta-analyses of studies linking premature weaning from breast milk with later-life chronic disease risk is presented followed by an estimation of the approximate exposure in a developed Western country, based on historical breast-feeding prevalence data for Australia since 1927. The population-attributable proportion of chronic disease associated with current patterns of artificial feeding in infancy is estimated.

Results After adjustment for major confounding variables, current research suggests that the risks of chronic disease are 30–200 % higher in those who were not breast-fed compared to those who were breast-fed in infancy. Exposure to premature weaning ranges from 20 % to 90 % in post-World War II age cohorts. Overall, the attributable proportion of chronic disease in the population is estimated at 6–24 % for a 30 % exposure to premature weaning.

Breast-feeding is of public health significance in preventing chronic disease. There is a small but consistent effect of premature weaning from breast milk in increasing later-life chronic disease risk. Risk exposure in the Australian population is substantial. Approximately 90 % of current 35–45-year-olds were weaned from breast-feeding by 6 months of age. Encouraging greater duration and exclusivity of breast-feeding is a potential avenue for reducing future chronic disease burden and health system costs.
Keyword Breast-feeding
Chronic disease risk
Formula feeding
Infant nutrition
Public health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 13 July 2010. Issue section: Monitoring and surveillance

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 14 Oct 2011, 09:28:51 EST by Peta Harvey on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience