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Carbohydrates, glycemic index and diabetes mellitus

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



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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We are indebted to the participating families, the midwife research assistants (Lorraine Douhaud, Sophie Bedel, Brigitte Lortholary, Sophie Gabriel, Muriel Rogeon and Monique Malinbaum) for data collection, and Patricia Lavoine, Josiane Sahuquillo and Ginette Debotte for checking, coding and data entry. The EDEN mother–child cohort study group includes I Annesi-Maesano, JY Bernard, J Botton, MA Charles, P Dargent-Molina, B de Lauzon-Guillain, P Ducimetière, M de Agostini, B Foliguet, A Forhan, X Fritel, A Germa, V Goua, R Hankard, B Heude, M Kaminski, B Larroque, N Lelong, J Lepeule, G Magnin, L Marchand, C Nabet, F Pierre, R Slama, MJ Saurel-Cubizolles, M Schweitzer and O Thiebaugeorges. We thank the Information Centre on Food Quality (CIQUAL), unit of ANSES (French agency for food and environmental and occupational health safety) and the French baby foods industry group (SFAE) for providing, respectively, the 2006 French food composition database and the 2005 French baby foods composition database. Supported by grant from the Didit métaprogramme of INRA (‘SweetLip-kid’ project to SN; doctoral fellowship to WLY). The EDEN cohort study is supported by Foundation for Medical Research (FRM), National Agency for Research (ANR), National Institute for Research in Public Health (IRESP: TGIR cohorte santé 2008 programme), French Ministry of Health (DGS), French Ministry of Research, Inserm Bone and Joint Diseases National Research (PRO-A) and Human Nutrition National Research Programmes, Paris–Sud University, Nestlé, French National Institute for Population Health Surveillance (InVS), French National Institute for Health Education (INPES), the European Union FP7 programmes (FP7/2007-2013, HELIX, ESCAPE, ENRIECO, Medall projects), Diabetes National Research Programme (through a collaboration with the French Association of Diabetic Patients (AFD)), French Agency for Environmental Health Safety (now ANSES), Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale (MGEN), French National Agency for Food Security and the French-speaking association for the study of diabetes and metabolism (ALFEDIAM). Funders had no influence of any kind on analyses or result interpretation.

Author contributions

The authors’ responsibilities were as follows—The EDEN mother–child cohort study group, coordinated by BH, was responsible for study design and data collection. BLG and SN were involved in all aspects from study conception to manuscript writing. WLY and AF participated in data management for the present analysis. WLY analysed and interpreted the data and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. SN, SL, CL, BH, MAC and BLG critically reviewed all sections of the text for important intellectual content. All authors had full access to all of the data in the study and can take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to B de Lauzon-Guillain.

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Yuan, W., Nicklaus, S., Lioret, S. et al. Early factors related to carbohydrate and fat intake at 8 and 12 months: results from the EDEN mother–child cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr 71, 219–226 (2017).

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