Population response to change in infant feeding guidelines for allergy prevention

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Background It is unknown whether population infant feeding practices have changed since recently revised Australian allergy guidelines removed recommendations to delay allergenic solids. Objectives We sought to determine whether updated 2008 guidelines were associated with changes in feeding practice and to determine whether sociodemographic factors influenced this response. Methods In a population-based, cross-sectional study (HealthNuts) of 5276 infants recruited between 2007 and 2011 in Melbourne, Australia, parents reported on infant feeding practices. Multinomial logistic regression was used to investigate the associations between recruitment year and feeding practices and whether these associations were modified by sociodemographic factors. Results Compared with participants recruited in 2007-2009, those recruited in 2009-2011 were more likely to introduce solids at age 4 months (adjusted multinomial odds ratio [aMOR], 1.21; 95% CI, 1.02-1.45; P =.032) and less likely to introduce solids at age 6 months (aMOR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69-0.92; P =.002), egg after 6 months (aMOR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71-0.94; P =.004), and peanut after 12 months (aMOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.49-0.98; P =.037). Although parents recruited in 2009-2011 were less likely to formula feed (aMOR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.98; P =.023), formula-fed infants were more likely to be given a partially hydrolyzed formula (aMOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.12-1.70; P =.003). These changes were significantly stronger among families with a higher socioeconomic status and those without a family history of allergies. Conclusion Updated national allergy guidelines are associated with reduced delay in introduction of solids, egg, and peanut and an increase in partially hydrolyzed formula use among formula-fed infants. Higher socioeconomic status and absence of family history of allergies were associated with better uptake of feeding guidelines. © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.




Tey, D., Allen, K. J., Peters, R. L., Koplin, J. J., Tang, M. L. K., Gurrin, L. C., … Dharmage, S. C. (2014). Population response to change in infant feeding guidelines for allergy prevention. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 133(2), 476–484. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2013.11.019

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