Longitudinal Associations between Dietary Patterns and Weight Status in Puerto Rican Infants and Toddlers’ Participants of the WIC Program

Kiara Amaro-Rivera, José Molina, Cynthia M. Pérez, Cristina Palacios


Objective: To explore the associations between feeding practices and diet quality with weight in Puerto Rican infants/toddlers. Methods: This was a longitudinal study done in a sample of 296 caregivers and their children aged 0-24 months from a WIC clinic in PR. A. Caregivers completed questionnaires on socio-demographics and feeding practices and infant’s weight and length were measured at the baseline and follow-up (1 year later) visits. Diet quality was assessed using an adapted version of the Diet Quality Index Score (DQIS) for infants/toddlers. Results: A total of 77 participants completed the follow-up visit. At baseline, overweight/obesity was found in 5% while in the follow-up visit it increased to 16%. Exclusive breastfeeding for less than one month (RR 1.32, 95% C.I. 1.10, 1.59) and formula-based diets (RR 1.29; 95% C.I. 1.08, 1.54) increased the odds of overweight/ obesity at follow-up compared to longer breastfeeding and those never formula-fed. DQIS significantly decreased from the baseline to the follow-up visit. The overall DQIS was not significantly associated with weight; however, a trend was observed between a negative change in the breast-milk and 100% juices score with higher odds of overweight/obesity while a negative change in the vegetable score was associated with lower odds of overweight/obesity. Conclusion: Diet quality significantly decreased over time in our sample. Breastfeeding for less than one month and formula-based diets significantly increased the odds of overweight/obesity at follow-up, but no significant associations were found with DQIS or its components.


infants; dietary patterns; diet quality; obesity; Hispanic

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