Breastfeeding and Native American Women's Interest in Specific Food Tastes

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To determine if breastfeeding alters Native American women’s interest in eating foods of different taste categories, we surveyed women at their 6-week postpartum checkup at WW Hastings Indian Hospital in Tahlequah, OK (a Native American serving health facility owned by the Cherokee Nation of OK), asking them to rate their interest in eating various foods. Women were given a survey when checking in and asked to complete it at their own pace. The survey contained no identifying information (name, age, race, SSN) or protected health information. Women were asked whether they were breastfeeding, the number of infants born, and whether this was their first baby. Women were asked to rate their level of hunger on a Likert scale that ranged from 1 (not hungry at all) to 9 (very hungry), with 5 indicating “don’t care.” Breastfeeding women indicated increased hunger ratings over non-breastfeeding women. They were also asked to rate their interest in eating specific foods, such as chips, ice cream, grapefruit, tuna, steak, etc. There were no striking differences in eating foods in particular taste categories, except for sweet and hot foods. In the sweet group, there was a greater interest in eating bananas in non-breastfeeding women. In the hot group, there was less interest in eating jalapeno peppers in both groups. These findings represent the first approach to assess the impact of breastfeeding on interest in eating different foods in Native American women, and how breastfeeding status may interact to affect food preferences and thus alter food choices. These food choices may have implications for postpartum weight loss as well as for childhood obesity as maternal food choices affect family meal choices and the health of children.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2021
EventAnnual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior - Online
Duration: 12 Jul 202116 Jul 2021


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
Abbreviated titleSSIB 2021


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