- Decreased incidences of atopic symptoms in the first year of life
was also found when comparing infants at risk for atopic disease who
were given a prescribed diet to those with a free diet in one non-randomized
controlled trial. It is unclear whether these reductions in the
first year of life have future implications for development of allergic
- Early feeding is associated with increased incidence of atopic dermatitis,
and other adverse health outcomes such as respiratory illness and persistent
cough according to one prospective observational study.3
- There is no nutritional advantage from introducing supplemental foods
before the age of 4-6 months, and delay beyond 6 months may delay the
timely appearance of other developmental milestones.4
- A recent meta-analysis showed that exclusive breastfeeding for the
first three months of life decreases the incidence of eczema among children
with a family history of atopy.5
- Additional randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies are needed
to clarify this controversy.
Zeiger RS, Heller S, Mellon MH, Forsythe AB, O'Connor RD, Hamburger
RN, Schatz M. Effect of combined maternal and infant food-allergen
avoidance of development of atopy in early infancy; a randomized study.
Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 1989; 84(1):72-89.
Bardare M, Vaccari A, Allievi E, Brunelli L, Coco F, de Gaspari GC,
Flauto U. Influence of dietary manipulation on incidence of atopic
disease in infants at risk. Annals of Allergy 1993;71(4):366-71.
Forsyth JS, Ogston SA, Clark A, Florey CD, Howie PW. Relation
between early introduction of solid food to infants and their weight
and illnesses during the first two years of life. BMJ 1993;
Committee on Nutrition, American Academy of Pediatrics. Supplemental
Foods for Infants. Barness LA, ed. Pediatric Nutrition Handbook,
Third edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: AAP, 1993;23-33.
M, Mimouni D, David M, Mimouni M. Breast-feeding and the onset of atopic
dermatitis in childhood: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective
studies. J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;45:520-7.