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Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 293; doi:10.3390/nu8050293

Infant Feeding Practices in a Multi-Ethnic Asian Cohort: The GUSTO Study

1
Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore 117609, Singapore
2
School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637551, Singapore
3
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore 229899, Singapore
4
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore 119228, Singapore
5
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117549, Singapore
6
Department of Paediatrics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228, Singapore
7
Division of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children’s Medical Institute, National University Health System, Singapore 119074, Singapore
8
Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore229899, Singapore
9
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit & NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton & University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
10
Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore 117609, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 13 May 2016
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Abstract

The optimal introduction of complementary foods provides infants with nutritionally balanced diets and establishes healthy eating habits. The documentation of infant feeding practices in multi-ethnic Asian populations is limited. In a Singapore cohort study (GUSTO), 842 mother-infant dyads were interviewed regarding their feeding practices when the infants were aged 9 and 12 months. In the first year, 20.5% of infants were given dietary supplements, while 5.7% took probiotics and 15.7% homeopathic preparations. At age 9 months, 45.8% of infants had seasonings added to their foods, increasing to 56.3% at 12 months. At age 12 months, 32.7% of infants were given blended food, although 92.3% had begun some form of self-feeding. Additionally, 87.4% of infants were fed milk via a bottle, while a third of them had food items added into their bottles. At both time points, more than a third of infants were provided sweetened drinks via the bottle. Infants of Indian ethnicity were more likely to be given dietary supplements, have oil and seasonings added to their foods and consumed sweetened drinks from the bottle (p < 0.001). These findings provide a better understanding of variations in infant feeding practices, so that healthcare professionals can offer more targeted and culturally-appropriate advice. View Full-Text
Keywords: infant; feeding practices; Asian; GUSTO infant; feeding practices; Asian; GUSTO
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Toh, J.Y.; Yip, G.; Han, W.M.; Fok, D.; Low, Y.-L.; Lee, Y.S.; Rebello, S.A.; Saw, S.-M.; Kwek, K.; Godfrey, K.M.; Chong, Y.-S.; Chong, M.F.-F. Infant Feeding Practices in a Multi-Ethnic Asian Cohort: The GUSTO Study. Nutrients 2016, 8, 293.

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