Early life feeding and current dietary patterns are associated with biomarkers of glucose and lipid metabolism in young women from the Nutritionist’s Health Study

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We investigated if breastfeeding duration and current dietary patterns (DP) were associated with glucose and lipid metabolism biomarkers in women from the Nutritionist’s Health Study.


This is a cross-sectional analysis of 200 healthy undergraduates and nutrition graduates aged ≤45 years. Total [<6; ≥6 months] and predominant [<3; ≥3 months] breastfeeding were recalled using questionnaires. Diet were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. DP obtained by factor analysis by principal component were categorized into tertiles of adherence (T1 = reference). Glucose and lipid biomarkers were categorized into tertiles (T1 + T2 = reference). Logistic regression was applied considering minimal sufficient adjustment recommended by directed acyclic graphs.


Median (interquartile range) age and BMI were 23.0 (20.0; 28.5) years and 22.6 (20.7; 25.4) kg/m2, respectively. Mean ± SD values of glucose, LDL-c and HDL-c were 82.0 ± 9.0, 101.1 ± 29.6 and 54.4 ± 12.4 mg/dL, respectively. Women breastfed for <6 months had higher chance of being classified into T3 of insulin (OR = 2.87; 95%CI = 1.28–6.40). Predominant breastfeeding < 3 months was associated with insulin levels (OR = 2.27; 95%CI = 1.02–5.02) and HOMA-IR (OR = 2.36; 95%CI = 1.06−5.26). Breastfeeding was not associated with lipids. The Processed pattern was directly associated with LDL-c (T3: OR 6.08; 95%CI 1.80–20.58; P-trend = 0.004), while the Prudent pattern was inversely associated with LDL-c (T3: OR 0.26; 95%CI 0.08–0.87; P-trend = 0.029) and LDL-c/HDL-c ratio (T3: OR 0.28; 95%CI 0.08–0.97; P-trend = 0.046).


Early feeding could be a protective factor against insulin resistance development, while current DP were associated with lipid profile. This evidence indicates that from early life until early adulthood, dietary habits might influence women’s cardiometabolic risk profile.

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We thank NutriHS research team and participants, who were committed to collect and provide, respectively, good quality data.


This work was supported by the São Paulo Foundation for Research Support—FAPESP, Brazil, which played no role in the study design; data collection; analysis or interpretation of data; or in drafting the manuscript.

Author information

Conception and design of the study: SRGF and BAP. Collection of data: LDF, BAP, AMMV, IE, and SRGF. Data analysis and interpretation: IE and SRGF. Drafting of the manuscript: IE and SRGF. Revision of the manuscript: IE, SRGF, BAP, AMMV and LDF. Approval of the final version of the manuscript: IE, SRGF, BAP, AMMV and LDF.

Correspondence to Sandra Roberta G. Ferreira.

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Eshriqui, I., Folchetti, L.D., Valente, A.M.M. et al. Early life feeding and current dietary patterns are associated with biomarkers of glucose and lipid metabolism in young women from the Nutritionist’s Health Study. Eur J Clin Nutr (2019) doi:10.1038/s41430-019-0516-8

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