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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Apr;28(4):503-13.

Predictors of body size in the first 2 y of life: a high-risk study of human obesity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-3309, USA. stunkard@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To ascertain the predictors of body size at 2 y of age.

DESIGN:

: Prospective, longitudinal study of risk factors for weight gain of infants at high or low risk of obesity by virtue of their mothers' obesity or leanness.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 40 infants of obese mothers and 38 infants of lean mothers, equally divided among boys and girls.

METHODS:

Measurement of dependent variables: weight, length and skinfold thicknesses at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months and percent body fat at 3, 12 and 24 months. Measurement of independent variables: average daily caloric consumption at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months; and, at 3 months, nutritive sucking behavior during a test meal, total energy expenditure (TEE), sleeping energy expenditure (SEE), estimation of nonsleeping energy expenditure (TEE-SEE) and socioeconomic status. Parental weights and heights were obtained by self-report at the time of recruitment. Partial correlation and mixed effects linear regression analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

Measures of body size (weight, length, skinfold thicknesses) and percent of body fat were almost identical between high- and low-risk groups at all times. Energy intake during six occasions over the 2 y, sucking behavior, family income and TEE predicted weight gain, controlling for body length. Parental body mass index was not associated with the child's body size during the first 2 y. During the first year, there were strong lagged correlations between energy intake and body weight and smaller correlations between protein intake and body weight.

CONCLUSION:

Energy intake, and not energy expenditure, was the determinant of body size in these infants at 2 y of age, as it had been at 1 y. Sucking behavior and TEE (positively) and family income (negatively) also contributed to body weight at 2 y. The novel finding of a lagged correlation between energy intake and body weight early in life suggests that energy intake is programmed for future growth and development.

PMID:
14758342
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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