Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are added to infant formula but their effect on long-term growth of children is under studied.
We evaluated the effects of feeding LCPUFA-supplemented formula (n=54) compared to control formula (n=15) throughout infancy on growth from birth-6 years.
Growth was described using separate models developed with the MIXED procedure of SAS® that included maternal smoking history and gender.
Compared to children fed control formula, children who consumed LCPUFA supplemented formula had higher length-/stature-/and weight-for-age percentiles but not body mass index (BMI) percentile from birth to 6 years.
Maternal smoking predicted lower stature (2–6 years), higher weight-for-length (birth-18 months) and BMI percentile (2–6 years) independent of LCPUFA effects. Gender interacted with the effect of LCPUFA on stature, and the relationship between smoking and BMI, with a larger effect for boys. Energy intake did not explain growth differences.
A relatively small control sample is a limitation.
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