ORCID

Abstract

Background: The growth and maturation of infants reflect their overall health and nutritional status. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations of prenatal and early postnatal factors with infant growth (IG). Methods: A data-driven model was constructed by structural equation modelling to examine the relationships between pre- and early postnatal environmental factors and IG at age 12 months. The IG was a latent variable created from infant weight and waist circumference. Data were obtained on 274 mother–child pairs during pregnancy and the postnatal periods. Results: Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI emerged as an important predictor of IG with both direct and indirect (mediated through infant birth weight) effects. Infants who gained more weight from birth to 6 months and consumed starchy foods daily at age 12 months, were more likely to be larger by age 12 months. Infant physical activity (PA) levels also emerged as a determinant. The constructed model provided a reasonable fit (χ2 (11) = 21.5, p < 0.05; RMSEA = 0.07; CFI = 0.94; SRMR = 0.05) to the data with significant pathways for all examined variables. Conclusion: Promoting healthy weight amongst women of child bearing age is important in preventing childhood obesity, and increasing daily infant PA is as important as a healthy infant diet.

DOI

10.3390/ijerph181910265

Publication Date

2021-09-26

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

18

Issue

19

First Page

10265

Last Page

10265

ISSN

1661-7827

Embargo Period

2021-10-23

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery

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