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Breast-feeding History and Overweight in Latino Preschoolers

  • Margaret Kersey
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Margaret Kersey, MD, MS, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, Room 260, McNamara Building, 200 Oak St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
    Affiliations
    From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Dr Kersey), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr Lipton), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill; No current academic affiliation (Ms Sanchez-Rosado), formerly at Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, Ill; Departments of Health Studies and Statistics (Dr Thisted); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Drs Kumar and Lantos), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill
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  • Rebecca Lipton
    Affiliations
    From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Dr Kersey), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr Lipton), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill; No current academic affiliation (Ms Sanchez-Rosado), formerly at Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, Ill; Departments of Health Studies and Statistics (Dr Thisted); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Drs Kumar and Lantos), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill
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  • Monica Sanchez-Rosado
    Affiliations
    From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Dr Kersey), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr Lipton), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill; No current academic affiliation (Ms Sanchez-Rosado), formerly at Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, Ill; Departments of Health Studies and Statistics (Dr Thisted); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Drs Kumar and Lantos), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill
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  • Jessica Kumar
    Affiliations
    From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Dr Kersey), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr Lipton), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill; No current academic affiliation (Ms Sanchez-Rosado), formerly at Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, Ill; Departments of Health Studies and Statistics (Dr Thisted); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Drs Kumar and Lantos), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill
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  • Ronald Thisted
    Affiliations
    From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Dr Kersey), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr Lipton), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill; No current academic affiliation (Ms Sanchez-Rosado), formerly at Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, Ill; Departments of Health Studies and Statistics (Dr Thisted); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Drs Kumar and Lantos), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill
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  • John D. Lantos
    Affiliations
    From the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health (Dr Kersey), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology (Dr Lipton), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill; No current academic affiliation (Ms Sanchez-Rosado), formerly at Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, Ill; Departments of Health Studies and Statistics (Dr Thisted); and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Drs Kumar and Lantos), University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill
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      Objective.—Describe the relationship between breast-feeding history and risk of overweight in the preschool years in a sample of primarily Mexican-origin Latinos.
      Methods.—Children's breast-feeding history, health history, and demographics were obtained in interviewer-administered questionnaires of a convenience sample of 364 parents of children ages 2–5 in an outpatient clinic waiting room serving a predominantly Mexican immigrant population in a large Midwestern city. Child weight status was determined by weighing and measuring each child and calculating age- and sex-specific body mass index (BMI) percentile using 2000 Centers for Disease Control reference values, with children ≥95th percentile defined as overweight.
      Results.—Seventy-six of 364 children (21%) were overweight. Eighty-seven percent of children had been breast-fed. Increased duration of breast-feeding was associated with a linearly decreased risk of overweight in bivariate analysis, ranging from an overweight prevalence of 35% for those never breast-fed to 12% for those breast-fed for at least a year. This inverse relationship remained significant in the smaller sample for which maternal BMI data were available (n = 127), as each additional month of breast-feeding was associated with a 10% decreased odds ratio (OR) of overweight (adjusted OR = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.81, 0.99) after controlling for child's sex, current age, prematurity, birth-weight category, maternal education level, and maternal weight status.
      Conclusion.—This sample of children of Mexican-origin immigrant families had high rates of overweight at very young ages but also very high rates of breast-feeding. Duration of breast-feeding was strongly and inversely related with prevalence of overweight as a preschooler.

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