Neonatal and infant feeding: Effect on bone density at 4 years

Rosemary J. Young, Dean L. Antonson, Paul W. Ferguson, Nancy D. Murray, Kim Merkel, Timothy E. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether the type of feeding during the first 4 months of life affects bone mineral density at 4 years of age. Methods: Healthy 4-year-old children were recruited from the offices of primary health care providers. After confirming the type of infant feeding by history, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry analysis was obtained at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and evaluated by a radiologist blinded as to feeding type. Results: One hundred and seventy-eight children completed the study (58% male, 85% Caucasian; mean age, 4.5 years). All children had exclusively consumed human milk (n = 57), an infant formula containing no palm olein oil (n = 56) or an infant formula containing palm olein oil (n = 65) during the first 4 months of life. At 4 years of age, no significant differences were noted in bone mineral content or bone mineral density (P = 0.51 and 0.89, respectively) among the three feeding groups as measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Total body bone mineral content and bone mineral density varied by gender, with males having significantly higher values than females regardless of feeding type (P = 0.028 and P < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: There is no association between the use of palm olein formula during the first 4 months of life and subsequent bone mineral content and bone mineral density in healthy 4-year-old children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Bone density
  • Breast feeding
  • Infant formula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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