Timing of infant formula introduction and risk of atopic diseases and being overweight during early childhood

Yuan, Mingyang ORCID: 0000-0002-7666-2292 (2021). Timing of infant formula introduction and risk of atopic diseases and being overweight during early childhood. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (5MB) | Preview


Dietary exposure in early life, including formula feeding and early introduction of complementary foods, was considered as one of the main modifiable exposures associated with childhood allergy and obesity. During the past decades, the Chinese population has witnessed rapid economic development along with the unprecedented speed of industrialization and urbanization. Meanwhile, the consumption of infant formula has been increasing dramatically in recent decades worldwide, particularly in China. The observed remarkable growth in infant formula sales raises serious concern for child health. The research within this thesis focuses on the associations of feeding practice, especially the timing of infant formula introduction, with the development of atopic diseases and being overweight or obesity in young Chinese children.
Our systematic review and meta-analysis found that relatively little high-quality evidence was identified to allow for definitive conclusions on the association between early cow’s milk or cow’s milk formula introduction and risk of allergic diseases. Our meta-analysis on this topic highlights the specific gaps in information for public recommendations regarding cow’s milk or cow’s milk formula feeding practice in an early stage of life, particularly before 3 months of age. Then, we performed the studies based on the Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study (BIGCS), a population-based birth cohort in Guangzhou, China. The results suggested that early infant formula introduction, particularly within the first 3 months of life, may increase the risk of eczema during the first year of life. Also, food introduction patterns containing early infant formula introduction were related to a higher risk of eczema by the age of 3 years regardless of whether complementary foods were introduced relatively early or late. Furthermore, the later introduction of infant formula between 4 to 6 months seems to be associated with the lower BMI, weight-for-age and weight-for-length z-scores both at 1 year and 3 years of age, compared with early introduction within the first 3 months. We also found that there may be a potential effect of early formula introduction on being persistently overweight from 1 year to 3 years old. The findings provide new evidence into the influence of formula feeding on early childhood health. The results need to be replicated in other cohorts to provide more robust evidence on the development of future health-related prevention guidelines for children.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Cheng, K. K.UNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-1516-1857
Thomas, G. NeilUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-2777-1847
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Applied Health Research
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11557


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year