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Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):524-30.

Energy intake, not energy output, is a determinant of body size in infants.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-2648, USA. stunkard@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It has been proposed that the primary determinants of body weight at 1 y of age are genetic background, as represented by parental obesity, and low total energy expenditure.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to determine the relative contributions of genetic background and energy intake and expenditure as determinants of body weight at 1 y of age.

DESIGN:

Forty infants of obese and 38 infants of lean mothers, half boys and half girls, were assessed at 3 mo of age for 10 risk factors for obesity: sex, risk group (obese or nonobese mothers), maternal and paternal body mass index, body weight, feeding mode (breast, bottle, or both), 3-d energy intake, nutritive sucking behavior during a test meal, total energy expenditure, sleeping energy expenditure, and interactions among them.

RESULTS:

The only difference between risk groups at baseline was that the high-risk group sucked more vigorously during the test meal. Four measures accounted for 62% of the variability in weight at 12 mo: 3-mo weight (41%, P = 0.0001), nutritive sucking behavior (9%, P = 0.0002), 3-d food intake (8%, P = 0.0002), and male sex (3%, P = 0.05). Food intake and sucking behavior at 3 mo accounted for similar amounts of variability in weight-for-length, body fat, fat-free mass, and skinfold thickness at 12 mo. Contrary to expectations, neither total nor sleeping energy expenditure at 3 mo nor maternal obesity contributed to measures of body size at 12 mo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Energy intake contributes significantly to measures of body weight and composition at 1 y of age; parental obesity and energy expenditure do not.

Comment in

PMID:
10075340
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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