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Early macronutrient intake and overweight at five years of age


OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of the macronutrient intake in early life on the development of overweight in children.

DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: An ongoing longitudinal study including 147 randomized healthy children followed up from birth.

MEASUREMENTS: Anthropometric parameters were measured at birth, 1 and 5 y of age. Dietary habits at the age of 1 and 5 were assessed by age-adjusted food-frequency questionnaires and 24 h recalls. Parents’ body mass index (BMI) was also recorded.

RESULTS: Parental overweight was observed for 51% children. The prevalence of overweight at the age of 5 y was higher in children with than without parental overweight (37.3% vs 8.3%, P<0.0001). Five-year old overweight children had a higher percentage intake of proteins at the age of 1 y than non overweight children (22% vs 20%, P=0.024) and lower intake of carbohydrates (44% vs 47%, P=0.031). Multiple logistic analysis confirmed that protein intake at 1 y of age was associated with overweight at 5 y (P=0.05). In children born from overweight mothers, prevalence of overweight at the age of 5 y tended to be higher in bottle-fed than in breast-fed ones (62.5% vs 23.3%, P=0.08).

CONCLUSION: Parental overweight is a major risk factor for childhood overweight in the first years of life, but an early high protein intake may also influence the development of adiposity.

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Scaglioni, S., Agostoni, C., De Notaris, R. et al. Early macronutrient intake and overweight at five years of age. Int J Obes 24, 777–781 (2000).

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  • macronutrient intake
  • body mass index
  • childhood obesity

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