Feeding practices of teenage and older mothers

L. A. Vaughan, M. W. Roosa, K. Campbell

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    1 Scopus citations


    Ninety-three mother-child pairs (62 teenage mothers, 31 'older' mothers) were interviewed to determine past and present feeding practices. At the time of the study, the children were either 2 years (n = 39) or 4 years (n = 54) of age. Compared to the older mothers, teenage mothers were significanty less likely to have breastfed their children as infants (45% vs. 65%) and did so for a shorter period of time (5.0 vs 6.2 months). Although there were no significant differences in the age at which solid foods were introduced (mean of 4.3 months) or in the length of formula feeding (mean of 8.6 months), teenage mothers did introduce cows milk at a significantly earlier age than did 'older' mothers (9.3 vs. 12.3 months). These data suggest that important differences exist in the way that teenage mothers feed their infants, as compared to older mothers. Based on data from 53 subjects, evaluations of the children's dietary intakes showed few differences between the two groups. The children of teenage mothers consumed significantly less phosphorus and protein than the children of 'older' mothers (although both groups averaged well over 100% of the R.D.A. for both nutrients) and slightly less niacin, B-6, calcium, and iron. In addition, the offspring of teenage mothers averaged a higher weekly intake of low-nutrient density foods and a lower weekly intake of fruits and vegetables than those of older mothers. However, few if any, of these differences appear to be nutritionally significant. It remains to be determined if the early differences in feeding practices are due to economic, attitudinal knowledge or other factors in the lives of teenage mothers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)34-41
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Applied Nutrition
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Food Science


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