The Long-Term Effects of Dietary Nutrient Intakes during the First 2 Years of Life in Healthy Infants from Developed Countries: An Umbrella Review

Carlo Agostoni, Anat Guz-Mark, Luba Marderfeld, Gregorio P. Milani, Marco Silano, Raanan Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The role of both qualitative and quantitative early nutrient intakes on later health has been suggested for decades and supported by observational studies on humans, mainly preterm and low-birth-weight infants, and animal models. However, to date, no comprehensive review has been conducted to evaluate the full impact of nutritional variables on healthy full-term infants. This umbrella review considers meta-analyses and systematic reviews on the health effects of different nutritional exposures or interventions in the first 2 y of life of healthy full-term infants in developed countries. The systematic reviews and meta-analyses published by March 2018 in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were included. The following outcomes were considered: growth and obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurodevelopment, allergy and autoimmunity, infections, and malignancy. Breastfeeding and complementary feeding were considered separately and analyzed by means of their differences in delivering heterogeneous food-related variables. The resulting data on the long-term effect of early nutritional differences in healthy full-term infants were found to be inconclusive. Only breastfeeding has a beneficial effect, which is nevertheless slight and limited to just a few outcome measures, whereas the type and duration required to be effective are still unclear. As regards the complementary feeding period, no clear effects of different dietary interventions emerge in terms of health outcomes. Available evidence on the health effects of differences in early nutrition in healthy full-term infants still remains largely inconclusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-501
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • allergy
  • autoimmunity
  • cardiovascular disease
  • children
  • infants
  • infections
  • later outcome of early nutrition
  • malignancy
  • neurodevelopment
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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