Breastfeeding mothers consume more vegetables and a greater variety of fruits and vegetables than non-breastfeeding peers: The influence of socioeconomic position

Nutrition & Dietetics, 06/08/2012

Leslie DA et al. – The association between infant feeding (breastfeeding) and some aspects of maternal diet provides further evidence suggesting a link between maternal and child diets from a younger age than previously examined.


  • This cross-sectional study obtained information via self-reported questionnaire from 529 first-time Melbourne mothers. Breastfeeding status was determined when the children were 3.9 months.
  • Diet information was obtained using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire.
  • Maternal diet was assessed by seven indicators: average daily intake of fruit, vegetables, non-core drinks, non-core sweet snacks, non-core savoury snacks, variety of fruit and variety of vegetables eaten in the preceding 12 months.
  • Associations between breastfeeding status and each dietary variable were assessed using linear regression analyses.
  • Socioeconomic position, maternal body mass index and the cluster-based sampling design were controlled for.


  • Of the 529 subjects, 70% were breastfeeding their child.
  • Compared with non-breastfeeding mothers, breastfeeding mothers were found to consume more serves of vegetables (P= 0.001), a greater variety of fruit and vegetables (P= 0.001 and P? 0.001 respectively), and sweet snacks were consumed more frequently (P= 0.006).
  • Differences were observed between low and high socioeconomic position mothers for fruit serves (P= 0.003), vegetable serves (P= 0.010) and fruit variety (P= 0.006).
  • These associations persisted after controlling for socioeconomic position and maternal body mass index.

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