The timing of solid introduction in an ‘obesogenic’ environment : a narrative review of the evidence and methodological issues.

Daniels, Lynne, Mallan, Kimberley M., Fildes, Alison, & Wilson, Jacinda (2015) The timing of solid introduction in an ‘obesogenic’ environment : a narrative review of the evidence and methodological issues. Australian And New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(4), pp. 366-373.

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To evaluate the evidence for association between obesity risk outcomes >12 months of age and timing of solid introduction in healthy term infants in developed countries, the large majority of whom are not exclusively breastfed to 6 months of age.


Studies included were published 1990-March 2013.


Twenty-six papers with weight status or obesity prevalence outcomes were identified. Studies were predominantly cohort design, most with important methodological limitations. Ten studies reported a positive association. Of these only two were large good quality studies and both examined the outcome of early (<4 months) solid introduction. None of the four good quality studies that directly evaluated current guidelines provided evidence of any clinically relevant protective effect of solid introduction from 4-5 versus ≥ 6 months of age.


Overall the introduction of solids prior to 4 months may result in increased risk of childhood obesity but there is little evidence of adverse weight status outcomes associated with introducing solids at 4-6 rather than at 6 months.


More and better quality evidence is required to inform guidelines on the ‘when, what and how’ of complementary feeding.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 81953
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: complementary feeding, developed countries, obesity, narrative review
DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12376
ISSN: 1753-6405
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Deposited On: 22 Feb 2015 23:56
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 12:43

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