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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1776-84.

Infant growth and later body composition: evidence from the 4-component model.

Author information

1
The Medical Research Council, Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom. s.chomtho@ich.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rapid weight gain in infancy is associated with higher body mass index in later life, but its relation with individual body-composition components remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to investigate associations between weight gain during different periods in infancy and later fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM).

DESIGN:

Body composition was assessed by using the 4-component model, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and anthropometry in 234 healthy UK children and adolescents (105 boys; x +/- SD age: 11.4 +/- 3.8 y). Early growth measurements were prospective in 52 subjects and retrospective in 182. Relative weight gain was calculated as change in SD score (SDS) during different periods.

RESULTS:

Relative weight gain from 0 to 3 mo and from 3 to 6 mo showed positive relations with childhood FM, waist circumference, and trunk FM that were equivalent to increases in FMI (FM/height(2)) of 0.24 SDS (95% CI: 0.04, 0.44) and 0.50 SDS (0.25, 0.75) per 1-SDS increase in early weight and that were comparable to the effect of current obesity risk factors. Relative weight gain from 0 to 3 mo was also positively associated with later FFMI (FFM/height(2)). Relative weight gain from 6 to 12 mo was not associated with later body composition. Associations were independent of birth weight, sex, puberty, physical activity, socioeconomic class, ethnicity, and parental body mass index.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this Western population, greater relative weight gain during early infancy was positively associated with later FM and central fat distribution and with FFM. Rapid weight gain in infancy may be a risk factor for later adiposity. Early infancy may provide an opportunity for interventions aimed at reducing later obesity risk.

PMID:
18541568
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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