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Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Dec;94(52):e2408. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000002408.

Protein Intake as a Risk Factor of Overweight/Obesity in 8- to 12-Year-Old Children.

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From the Research Group on Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress, University of Balearic Islands, and CIBEROBN (Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición), Palma de Mallorca, Spain (MdMB, JAT) and Unit of Pediatric Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, Department of Life and Reproduction Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy (AM, MT, FT, CM).


Several studies investigating the relationship between body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and/or body fat (BF) with macronutrient composition of the diet have suggested that dietary composition may play an important role to overweight/obesity in childhood, but its relation remains inconclusive. The aim was to assess the association between energy intake (EI) and macronutrient diet composition with overweight/obesity among children.Nonrandomized cohort study including 396 Italian children and preadolescents (9-13 years old), 200 overweight/obese and 196 normal-weight. The children's weight, height, WC, and food intake were measured.Reported EI was higher in overweight/obese than in nonoverweight children; however, after body weight was considered, the overweight/obese children had less EI than their leaner counterparts. Percentages of EI from proteins, SFA, MUFA and PUFA (in males), and dietary fiber (g/1000 kcal) were higher in the overweight/obese children than in the leaner ones. EI from carbohydrates and fats was lower in overweight/obese males and females, respectively. Positive correlations between BMI and waist-to-height ratio with EI from proteins were found in males (r = 0.296, P < 0.01 and r = 0.326, P < 0.01; respectively) and females (r = 0.374, P < 0.01 and r = 0.405, P < 0.01; respectively), but negative correlations with fats were found in females (r = -0.240, P < 0.01 and r = -0.188, P < 0.05; respectively). Using binary logistic regression, the highest EI from proteins were associated with higher odds ratio for overweight/obesity, while the lowest EI from carbohydrates was associated with higher odds ratio for overweight/obesity in males.Reported EI of overweight/obese children was higher than nonoverweight peers. Overweight/obese children had higher intakes of proteins compared with nonoverweight ones. Overweight/obese males and females showed lower EI from carbohydrates and fats, respectively, than their leaner counterparts.

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