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Commercial growing up milks: Usage frequency and associated child and demographic factors across four Asia Pacific countries

Willcox, J.C., Februhartanty, J.., Satheannoppakao, W., Hutchinson, C., Itsiopoulos, C. and Worsley, A. (2021) Commercial growing up milks: Usage frequency and associated child and demographic factors across four Asia Pacific countries. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics . Early View.

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Commercial growing up milks (GUMs) targeted at children from 12 to 36 months of age are a rapidly growing industry, particularly across the Asia Pacific.


The present study assessed the frequency of use and socio‐demographic and child associations of commercial GUM feeding in children, aged between 12 and 36 months, in capital cities in four Asia Pacific countries. Mothers of children aged between 12 and 36 months were surveyed, assessing GUM feeding frequency in the past month. A market research company database was used to survey across Asia Pacific urban cities, including Bangkok Thailand, Jakarta Indonesia, Singapore and Australian Capital Cities (ACC).


More than 1000 women (n = 1051) were surveyed (Bangkok, n = 263; Jakarta, n = 275; ACC, n = 252; Singapore, n = 261). The mean (SD) age of mothers was 32.4 (5.3) years and that of children was 23.6 (6.7) months. In total, 62.7% of the children were fed GUMs more than once per week with significant country variance. In comparison with ACC, Asian countries were significantly more likely to feed GUMs ≥once per week: Bangkok [odds ratio (OR) = 5.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.8–8.6]; Jakarta (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 2.3–5.5); and Singapore (OR = 7.4, 95% CI = 4.9‐11.1). Associations of GUM feeding included: maternal tertiary education; mothers younger than 30 years; working full time; and feeding of commercial infant formula under 12 months.


This is the first published study to explore commercial GUM feeding in and between countries. The incidence of GUM feeding, in contrast to international recommendations, signals the need for further research into the drivers for GUM feeding and its contribution to the diet.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2021 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.
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