Online Program

Breastfeeding duration moderates the association between early-life risk factors and growth trajectory from birth to 2 years

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Stacy Carling, MS, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Margaret Demment, PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Christine Olson, PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Background: Optimal breastfeeding behavior tends to cluster with other behaviors that are protective against the development of obesity making it very challenging to determine its true benefit. Our objective was to determine if longer breastfeeding duration was protective against rising growth trajectories by comparing its effects in children with different risk for obesity. Methods: This study utilized longitudinal data from a birth cohort in rural upstate New York (n=595). The outcome, weight-for-length z-score trajectory from birth to 2 years, was classified using latent-class modeling, that grouped children based on similar growth trajectories. Four trajectories emerged: high-rising, low-rising, mid-stable, and low-stable. An early-life risk index for obesity, classified into 3 levels (low, medium, high), included maternal BMI category, gestational weight gain, smoking during pregnancy, maternal education, and stress at 1 year post-partum. Logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate whether breastfeeding duration (<2 months, 2-4 months, >4 months) moderated the association between early-life obesity risk and infant growth trajectory. Results: Infants at high-risk for obesity who were breastfed for <2 months were more likely to be in a rising growth trajectory (p < 0.05 for both low-rising and high-rising) compared to infants who were breastfed for longer durations. Infants at medium-risk for obesity who were breastfed for <2 months were more likely to be in the high-rising growth trajectory (P <0.01). Conclusion: Short breastfeeding duration, especially for infants at higher risk for obesity, is associated with accelerated growth from birth to 2 years.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Identify risk-factors associated with obesity development. Discuss infant growth trajectories associated with overweight and obesity. Describe the potential of breastfeeding as a protective measure against obesity development.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in Nutrition, and this abstract is a product of my dissertation research. My research currently focuses on the biopsychosocial foundation of breastfeeding behavior and how a wide range of maternal factors contribute to infant growth. I have also taken graduate level classes in maternal and child nutrition, human growth, child development, and epidemiology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.