Complementary feeding with cow's milk alters sleeping metabolic rate in breast-fed infants

H. Haisma*, J.C.K. Wells, W.A. Coward, D. Duro, CG Victora, R.J. Vonk, A. Wright, G.H. Visser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Although it is widely accepted that energy expenditure in infants is a function of feeding pattern, the mechanism behind this is not well understood. The objectives of this observational study were as follows: 1) to compare minimal observable energy expenditure (MOEE) between 2 subgroups of breast-fed infants, a BM group in which breast milk was the only source of milk and a BCM group given cow's milk in addition to breast milk; and 2) to identify potential mediators of a feeding pattern effect. For this purpose, infants were classified by feeding group on the basis of a mother's recall. Respiration calorimetry was used to measure MOEE n 62 infants (n = 35 BM, n = 27 BCM) aged 8.7 mo in Pelotas, southern Brazil. Breast-milk intake was measured using deuterium oxide, complementary food intake by 1-d food weighing, total energy expenditure and total body water using doubly labeled water; anthropometric indices were calculated. MOEE was 1672 +/- 175 kJ/d in BM compared with 1858 210 kJ/d in BCM infants (P <0.001). Mass-specific MOEE was 201 +/- 24.6 and 216 +/- 31.9 U/(kg center dot d) in BM and BCM infants, respectively (P = 0.041). MOEE (kJ/d) was mediated by protein intake and fat-free mass (R-2 = 41.4%). We conclude that complementary feeding with cow's milk alters the sleeping metabolic rate in breast-fed infants. These findings deserve attention in relation to "metabolic programming" and the development of obesity later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1895
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2005
Event12th International Conference of the International-Society-for-Research-in-Human-Milk-and-Lactation -
Duration: 10-Sep-200414-Sep-2004


  • minimal observable energy expenditure
  • sleeping metabolic rate
  • breast milk
  • cow's milk
  • infants
  • FOOD
  • LIFE
  • SIZE

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