Born in Bradford (BiB) 1000 study-ethnic differences in food and nutrient intakes of 12 month old infants in the UK

Publication authors

Sahota P.; Greenwood D.C.; Wright J.


Introduction: Children from South Asian origin are at particular risk of overweight and obesity, demonstrating greater central adiposity and insulin resistance than European origin counterparts for a given body mass index. There is emerging evidence demonstrating the importance of the early life environment in the aetiology of obesity. We investigated early dietary patterns in a bi-ethnic birth cohort.

Methods: A validated 98- item quantitative Food Frequency questionnaire was administered to 1086 mothers of infants (mean age 12.7 months; White British origin 473; Pakistani origin 613) participating in the BIB 1000 study in the UK. The analysis focussed on ethnic differences in intake of key indicator food groups and nutrients with linear regression used for identifying associations with weight measures.

Results: Pakistani compared to White British infants consumed higher intakes of commercial sweet foods (OR 1.90 95%CI 1.40, 2.56); chips (OR 2.75 95%CI 2.09, 3.62); fruit (OR 2.20 CI 1.70, 2.85); sugar sweetened drinks (OR 1.68 95% CI 1.29, 2.18); less processed meat products (OR 0.11, 0.08, 0.15). Pakistani origin infants consumed 7% lower energy, 6% lower protein and 10% lower fibre intake. Infants in the highest third for protein intake were 0.25kg heavier than those in the lowest third (95% CI 0.06, 0.48) with no ethnic differences.

Conclusion: There are clear differences in dietary patterns between White British and Pakistani origin infants. This evidence should inform culturally adapted obesity prevention interventions for this high risk group of children. Future research will investigate the association with later childhood overweight and obesity