16th International Conference on Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology
Wayne State University School of Medicine, USA
Title: Does pacifier use in infancy decrease the risk of obesity?
Biography: Ahdi Amer
Background & Objective: Non-nutritive sucking (NNS) using a finger or pacifier is a natural reflex for infants. In gratifying this innate need, NNS can be soothing and may facilitate a smooth transition to sleep. We hypothesized that infants with their innate desire for gratification through NNS may overfeed if the bottle or breast is constantly offered instead of a pacifier. Our primary objective was to determine whether the use of pacifier in early infancy is associated with lower incidence of obesity at 9-15 month of age.
Methods: Parents of 399 infants 9 to 15 months old visiting the General Academic Pediatric Clinic were interviewed. They were asked whether a pacifier was used consistently ≥9 months and the reason for its use. BMIs at birth, 6 months and on the day of interview were calculated.
Results: Of the 399 recruited infants, 204 (51%) used a pacifier consistently for ≥9 months and 195 (49%) were non-user. More infants in the pacifier non-user group were significantly either overweight, 40 (21%) with BMI ≥85% or obese, 32 (16%) with BMI ≥95% than in the pacifier user group: 22 (11%) and 22 (11%) respectively (P.003). Formula fed infants accounted for the increased number of overweight and obese infants in the non-user group.
Conclusions: The use of a pacifier in infancy was associated with a lower incidence of obesity at 9-15 month of age. Given the current prevalence of childhood obesity, we believe that offering a pacifier between feeds can provide a protective effect against infantile obesity.