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Open AccessArticle

Associations of Less Healthy Snack Food Consumption with Infant Weight-for-Length Z-Score Trajectories: Findings from the Nurture Cohort Study

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Rhode Island, 41 Lower College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881, USA
2
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Rhode Island, 2 Lower College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881, USA
3
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC 2914, Durham, NC 27710, USA
4
Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2752; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112752
Received: 16 September 2019 / Revised: 3 November 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snacking Behaviors and Weight Status)
Little is known about the impact of less healthy snack foods on weight trajectories during infancy. This secondary analysis of data from the Nurture cohort explored prospective associations of less healthy snack foods with infant weight trajectories. Pregnant women were recruited and, upon delivery of a single live infant, 666 mothers agreed to participate. Mothers completed sociodemographic and infant feeding questionnaires, and infant anthropometrics were collected during home visits at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Less healthy snack food consumption was assessed by asking how frequently baby snacks and sweets were consumed each day during the previous three months. Multilevel growth curve models explored associations of baby snacks and sweets with infant weight-for-length (WFL) z-scores. On average, mothers were 27 years old, 71.5% were non-Hispanic Black, and 55.4% had household incomes of ≤$20,000/year. Consumption of less healthy snack foods increased during infancy with a median intake of 3.0 baby snacks/day and 0.7 sweets/day between 10 and 12 months. Growth curve models showed that infants who consumed sweets >2 times/day had significantly higher WFL z-scores during the second half of infancy compared to infants who never consumed sweets. Less healthy snacks may contribute to the risk of obesity during infancy and promoting healthy snack food choices during this critical time is important. View Full-Text
Keywords: infant snacking; less healthy snack foods; infant weight-for-length; Nurture study infant snacking; less healthy snack foods; infant weight-for-length; Nurture study
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Moore, A.M.; Vadiveloo, M.; Tovar, A.; McCurdy, K.; Østbye, T.; Benjamin-Neelon, S.E. Associations of Less Healthy Snack Food Consumption with Infant Weight-for-Length Z-Score Trajectories: Findings from the Nurture Cohort Study. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2752.

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