Growth and feeding practices of Vietnamese infants in Australia

N. D. Nguyen, J. R. Allen, J. K. Peat, W. N. Schofield, V. Nossar, M. Eisenbruch, K. J. Gaskin

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Objective: To investigate the growth and feeding practices in first-generation Vietnamese infants living in Australia. Design: Cohort study. Setting: The study was conducted between 1999 and 2002 in Sydney. Subjects: A total of 239 Vietnamese women were recruited randomly from antenatal clinics, and of these 210 were initially seen. During the first year, 20 cases (9.5%) were lost to follow-up. Data were collected at 0.5, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months. Results: Vietnamese infants were significantly longer and heavier than reference data (both P< 0.0001). The Vietnamese infants had a significant decline in weight growth with age compared with reference data (P<0.001). The Vietnamese infants had marginally higher s.d. score for ideal weight for length than reference data (P = 0.044). There was a significant decline in ideal weight for length with age compared with reference data (P = 0.0065). Both parents were significantly shorter (mean s.d. height scores: -1.5±0.8 (mother) and -1.8±0.8 (father)) than reference data (P<0.001). The incidence of breast feeding was 79%, but half of the breast feeding women had stopped breast feeding by 3 months. A total of 162 (79.8%) infants were given infant formula within the first week, of whom 131 (80.1%) were fed infant formula within the first 24 h after birth. Conclusions: Vietnamese infants in this study had growth comparable with reference data despite their parents being shorter than reference data. Breast feeding duration was short with infant formula being introduced early.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-362
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast feeding
  • Energy intake
  • Feeding methods
  • Growth
  • Infant
  • Vietnam

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