Early factors related to carbohydrate and fat intake at 8 and 12 months: results from the EDEN mother-child cohort

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Few studies have examined the factors explaining the variability in fat and carbohydrate intake during infancy. We aimed to describe infants' fat and carbohydrate intake and analyse the associations with infant and maternal characteristics and feeding practices.


This study included 1275 infants aged 8 months from the French EDEN mother-child cohort. Carbohydrate intake, fat intake, added fat (vegetable oils and animal fats) and added sugar (honey, white sugar, brown sugar, jam and sweetened beverages) consumption were calculated at 8 and 12 months. Associations between these variables and infant and maternal characteristics as well as maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy, breast-feeding duration and age at complementary feeding introduction were analysed using multivariable linear and logistic regressions.


Less than 5% of non-breast-fed infants reached the recommendation of consuming at least 40% of total energy from fat, whereas more than 95% of them reached 45% of energy from carbohydrates. Overall, infant and maternal characteristics and maternal diet during pregnancy were marginally associated with both carbohydrate/added sugar and fat/added fat intake. Nevertheless, age at complementary feeding introduction was associated with all outcomes.


Our results suggest that only a small proportion of non-breast-fed infants at 8 and 12 months reached the recommendations for fat intake, whereas a majority of them reached the recommendations for carbohydrate intake. As subgroups of infants with a higher risk of inadequate diet were not identified, the present results call for an improved dissemination of information regarding infant-specific dietary fat needs in the entire population.

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