An article from the Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP) received the award for best publication of the Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição 2019, a nutrition focused scientific journal. The announcement was made during the 3rd seminar of the Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição, which took place on December 9, 2020 in an online format.
The work, entitled Early feeding practices and their determinants: National food, nutrition and physical activity survey 2015-2016, characterized the practices of breastfeeding and food diversification among Portuguese children.
Using data from The National Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (IAN-AF 2015-2016), the researchers analyzed the eating practices of 904 children, aged between 3 and 35 months, through responses obtained in a questionnaire answered by the parents.
In general, the study concluded that the eating practices of Portuguese children are in accordance with national and international recommendations.
The study, which was coordinated by ISPUP the researcher, Carla Lopes, found that only 6% of the children in the sample were never breastfed and that 30% stopped breastfeeding before four months. “We found that this early abandonment of breastfeeding is more frequent in mothers who are have a higher education and are professionally active”, she explains.
Nevertheless, about 3% of children started food diversification before four months of age, with vegetable soup being the first food to be introduced, in most cases (66%).
The authors also found that practices that can compromise the child’s healthy growth, such as the early introduction of cow’s milk (in 7% of the sample), are more frequent in socio-economically disadvantaged groups.
The prize attributed by the Associação Portuguesa de Nutrição to the work, developed within the scope of the Epidemiology Research Unit (EPIUnit) of ISPUP, has the value of 500 euros for training in the area of Nutrition.
The researchers Sara Silva, Daniela Correia, Milton Severo, Andreia Oliveira and Duarte Torres also participated in the study.