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Maryland Infant Feeding Study

About Us

The Maryland Infant Feeding Project examined the environmental and infant influences on patterns of dietary intake, physical activity, and growth from birth through 12 months of age in order to address issues related to pediatric overweight, which is increasing rapidly in the US. The project recruited 781 infants among WIC participants through the state of Maryland, stratified by age (1-4, 5-8, 8-12 months), race/ethnicity (white, African-American, and Hispanic) and geographic location (urban/peri-urban and suburban/rural).

The goal of the study was to examine the period when infants make the transition through the weaning period to a family diet, focusing on how environmental factors, including parenting and feeding practices, and infant temperament, are related to dietary intake, physical activity patterns, and growth and iron status in infants. Findings from this study will open new avenues for the promotion of healthy dietary and physical activity patterns early in life and increase the effectiveness of overweight prevention programs for young children.

Tools & Measures

We will measure:


  • Body Composition/ Growth patterns
  • Diet *
  • Physical activity
  • Perception of body size/appetite*
  • Temperament*
  • Feeding Behavior *

    * = mother report 


  • Mental Health
  • Eating Attitudes


Project Coordinator


Maureen M. Black, PhD 
Principal Investigator
University of Maryland, School of Medicine 



Laura Caulfield, PhD
Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Kristen Hurley, PhD
Research Coordinator
University of Maryland, School of Medicine



Hurley KM, Black MM, Papas MA, Caulfield LE.  Maternal symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety are related to nonresponsive feeding styles in a statewide sample of WIC participants.  J Nutr. 2008. 138: 799-805.

Hurley KM, Black MM, Papas MA, Quigg AM. Variation in breastfeeding behaviours, perceptions, and experiences by race/ethnicity among a low-income statewide sample of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants in the United States. Matern Child Nutr. 2008. 4:95-105.