Scientific publications

Breastfeeding Is Associated with Higher Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet in a Spanish Population of Preschoolers: The SENDO Project

Mar 4, 2023 | Magazine: Nutrients

Asier Oliver Olid  1 , Laura Moreno-Galarraga  1   2 , Jose Manuel Moreno-Villares  3 , Maria Del Mar Bibiloni  4   5   6 , Miguel Ángel Martínez-González  2   7   8   9 , Víctor de la O  2   7 , Alejandro Fernandez-Montero  2   10 , Nerea Martín-Calvo  2   7   8

Objective: To assess whether breastfeeding during the first months of life is associated with adherence to the Mediterranean dietary (MedDiet) pattern in preschool children.

Design: The Seguimiento del Niño para un Desarrollo Óptimo (SENDO) project is an ongoing pediatric cohort with open recruitment, started in 2015 in Spain. Participants, recruited when they are 4 to 5 years old at their primary local health center or school, are followed annually through online questionnaires. For this study, 941 SENDO participants with full data on study variables were included. Breastfeeding history was collected retrospectively at baseline. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed with the KIDMED index (range -3 to 12).

Results: After accounting for multiple sociodemographic and lifestyle confounders, including parental attitudes and knowledge about dietary recommendations for children, breastfeeding was independently associated with a higher adherence to the MedDiet. Compared with children who were never breastfed, children breastfed for ≥6 months had a one-point increase on their mean KIDMED score (Mean difference +0.93, 95%confidence interval [CI]. 0.52-1.34, p for trend <0.001). The odds ratio of high adherence to the MedDiet (KIDMED index ≥8) was 2.94 (95%CI 1.50-5.36) in children who were breastfed for at least 6 months, as compared to their peers who were never breastfeed. Children who were breastfed for less than 6 months exhibited intermediate levels of adherence (p for trend <0.01).

Conclusion: Breastfeeding for 6 months or longer is associated with a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet during the preschool years.

CITATION  Nutrients. 2023 Mar 4;15(5):1278. doi: 10.3390/nu15051278