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Pediatr Res. 2012 Mar;71(3):293-8. doi: 10.1038/pr.2011.39. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

Preliminary evidence for an impulsivity-based thrifty eating phenotype.

Author information

1
Núcleo de Estudos da Saúde da Criança e do Adolescente, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. 00032386@ufrgs.br

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Low birth weight is associated with obesity and an increased risk for metabolic/cardiovascular diseases in later life.

RESULTS:

The results of the snack delay test, which encompassed four distinct trials, indicated that the gender × intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) × trial interaction was a predictor of the ability to delay the food reward (P = 0.002). Among children with normal birth weights, girls showed a greater ability to delay food rewards than did boys (P = 0.014).In contrast, among children with IUGR, there was no such differential ability between girls and boys. Furthermore, in girls, impulsive responding predicted both increased consumption of palatable fat (P = 0.007) and higher BMIs (P = 0.020) at 48 mo of age, although there was no such association with BMI at 36 mo.

DISCUSSION:

In girls, the quality of fetal growth may contribute to impulsive eating, which may promote an increased intake of fats and consequently higher BMIs. As with the original thrifty phenotype, such a mechanism would be adaptive when food supplies are sparse, but would be problematic in societies with ample access to calorically rich foods.

METHODS:

We examined whether the quality of intrauterine growth programs obesogenic eating behaviors, by investigating (i) the relationship between birth weight and impulsive eating in 3-year-old children (using the snack delay test), and (ii) whether impulsive eating predicts fat intake and/or BMI at 4 years of age (using a laboratory-based test meal).

PMID:
22278183
DOI:
10.1038/pr.2011.39
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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