Diet quality of U.K. infants is associated with dietary, adiposity, cardiovascular, and cognitive outcomes measured at 7-8 years of age

Rebecca K Golley, Lisa G Smithers, Murthy N Mittinty, Pauline Emmett, Kate Northstone, John W Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Whereas the influence of pregnancy diet and milk feeding on children's health and development is well characterized, the role of early food intake and eating behaviors is largely unexplored. This study aimed to determine whether the degree of adherence to complementary feeding guidelines was associated with dietary, obesity, cardiovascular, and cognitive outcomes at 7-8 y of age. Data were analyzed from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children using parent-completed dietary questionnaires at 6 mo of age to calculate a Complementary Feeding Utility Index score. Regression analysis was used to explore associations between the index score and dietary patterns derived via principal component analysis (n = 4326), body-mass index (BMI) (n = 4801), waist circumference (n = 4798), blood pressure (n = 4685), and lipids (n = 3232) measured at age 7 y; and intelligence quotient (IQ) measured at age 8 y (n = 4429) after adjustment for covariates. The index score was negatively associated with a "processed" dietary pattern (β = -0.16; 95% CI: -0.20, -0.13; P < 0.001) but positively associated with a "health conscious" dietary pattern [β = 0.18 (95% CI: 0.14, 0.21); P < 0.001]. A higher index score was also positively associated with total, verbal, and performance IQ scores at 8 y of age [β = 1.92 (95%CI: 1.38, 2.47); P < 0.001 for total IQ). The index score was weakly associated with waist circumference [β = -0.15 (95%CI: -0.31, -0.002); P = 0.046] and diastolic blood pressure [β = -0.24 (95%CI: -0.47, -0.01); P = 0.043] at 7 y of age but was not associated with BMI or other cardiovascular risk factors. These findings suggest that adherence to current complementary feeding guidelines may have implications for some, but not all, health and development outcomes in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1611-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Food Handling
  • Great Britain
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Intelligence
  • Lipids
  • Male
  • Obesity
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult


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