Ethnicity, infant-feeding practices, and childhood adiposity

Tom Baranowski, George T. Bryan, David K. Rassin, Joel A. Harrison, Janice C. Henske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


There has been professional concern that the type of milk used for infant-feeding may lead to adiposity. Studies of the relationship between infant milk-feeding and adiposity, however, have led to inconsistent results. This study investigated the relationship of infant-feeding practices to three indicators of adiposity: Body weight, body mass index (BMI) and sum of seven skinfolds. The sample includes children at 3 or 4 years of age, in three ethnic groups. Multivariate techniques assessed the relationship among practices of infant-feeding with three indicators of adiposity, while considering potential confounding variables. Although a weak bivariate relationship was detected between the duration of breastfeeding and body weight, none of the measures of infant-feeding were related to the three indicators of adiposity. Black-American girls had smaller skinfolds than Anglo- or Mexican-American girls, with no ethnic group differences among boys. Concerns about adiposity due to methods of infant-feeding can be allayed, at least among 3− or 4-year-old children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-239
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiposity
  • Beikost
  • Breastfeeding
  • Ethnicity
  • Formula-feeding
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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