• Conference Proceeding

Predicting the health effects of switching infant feeding practices for use in decision-making

Citation

Black, R. E., Singhal, A., & Uauy, R. (Eds.). (2014). Predicting the health effects of switching infant feeding practices for use in decision-making. In International Nutrition: Achieving Millennium Goals and Beyond (Vol. 78 - Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series), [78], pp. 29–38. Basel, Switzerland: Karger.

Abstract

Research has been plentiful to show pediatricians and public health practitioners the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for infant health. However, this past research is lacking in a few ways that are important for pediatricians and public health practitioners: it rarely examines broad geographies, and so cannot be generalized for different countries, it does not quantify the predicted effects of infant feeding, and it does not examine the effects of a range of feeding practices on infant health, instead focusing solely on exclusive breastfeeding. The present research simulates the effect on infant health of switching between a range of feeding practices using data from many countries. The results provide quantified estimates of the effect of switching between specific feeding practices such as exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding supplemented with milk liquids, or breastfeeding supplemented with solid foods and nonmilk liquids, as well as others. These quantified estimates of the effect of switching infant feeding practices can be used by pediatricians to motivate individual decisions about infant feeding and by public health practitioners and policymakers to motivate infant feeding programs and policy. Through these channels, they can hopefully play a role in improving infant health