Insulin dynamics of breast- or formula-fed overweight and obese children

Melania Manco, Arianna Alterio, Elisabetta Bugianesi, Paolo Ciampalini, Paolo Mariani, Maurizio Finocchi, Carlo Agostoni, Valerio Nobili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between the type of early feeding and indices of insulin metabolism in 8-year-old overweight and obese children. Methods: The sample included 350 overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥1.036 standard deviation score [SDS]) and obese (BMI ≥1.645 SDS) children and 33 normal-weight control subjects who had been exclusively breast-fed or formula-fed for 4 months or longer. Parameters of insulin sensitivity and secretion were derived from 120-minute oral glucose tolerance tests. Results: Overweight and obese formula-fed children (N = 165) were more insulin resistant than breast-fed individuals (N=185; Whole-Body Insulin Sensitivity Index 5.1 ± 2.3 vs 6.± 6 2; p, 0.0001) despite having the same degree of obesity (BMI z-score 1.8 6 0.4 vs 1.7 6 0.4 SDS; p = 0.5). They compensated for enhanced insulin resistance by augmenting insulin secretion (Insulinogenic Index 6.8 ± 3.6 vs 5.2 ± 2.5μlIU/mL × mg/mL × 1; p, 0.0001). Thus, they presented with a disposition index similar to that of breast-fed children (34.6 ± 15 vs 30.8 ± 19.2; p = 0.4), Formula feeding was associated with greater catch-up growth in the first month (odds ratio 2.49, 95% confidence interval 1.97 to 3.01; p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Breast-feeding
  • Catch-up growth
  • Formula feeding
  • Insulin resistance
  • Insulin secretion
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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