A Preference Based Measure of Complementary Feeding Quality: Application to the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper presents the development of the Complementary Feeding Utility Index (CFUI), a composite index aimed to measure adherence to infant feeding guidelines. Through an axiomatic characterization this paper shows the advantages in using the CFUI are the following: it avoids the use of arbitrary cut-offs, and by converting observed diet preferences into utilities, summing the score is meaningful. In addition, as the CFUI is designed to be scored continuously, it allows the transition from intake of beneficial foods (in low quantities) and intake of detrimental foods (in high quantities) to be more subtle. The paper first describes the rationale being the development of the CFUI and then elaborates on the methodology used to develop the CFUI, including the process of selecting the components. The methodology is applied to data collected from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to show the advantages of the CFUI over traditional diet index approaches. Unlike traditional approaches, the distribution of the CFUI does not peak towards mean value but distributes evenly towards the tails of the distribution.


  • Mittinty, Murthy N
  • Golley, Rebecca K
  • Smithers, Lisa G
  • Brazionis, Laima
  • Lynch, John W

publication date

  • October 14, 2013