Letter | Published:

Pattern of fat and lean tissue deposition in children

Naturevolume 256pages725727 (1975) | Download Citation



THERE is evidence1 of a prolonged change in body composition in children who have been overfed during the first year of life, and it has been suggested1,2 that there may be a critical period for fat deposition and adipocyte formation. We have examined published data on growth and body composition of normal children, and have found that these reveal cyclical changes in fat and lean tissue deposition which confirm the existence of critical periods, and offer an explanation for the observed changes in body composition.

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  1. 1

    Brook, C. G. D., Lloyd, J. K., and Wolf, O. H., Br. med. J., ii, 25 (1972).

  2. 2

    Boulton, T. J. C., Dunlop, M., and Count, J. M., Aust. Paed. J., 10, 301 (1974).

  3. 3

    Widdowson, E., in Scientific Basis of Paediatrics (Heinemann, London, 1974).

  4. 4

    Documenta Geigy Scientific Tables, seventh ed. (Geigy, Basle, 1970).

  5. 5

    Rauh, J. L., and Schumsky, D. A., in Human Growth (Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, 1968).

  6. 6

    Energy and Protein Requirements (Report FAO/WHO Ad Hoc Expert Committee Wld Hlth Org. tech. Rep. Ser., no. 522, 1973).

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  1. Department of Child Health, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia

    • A. E. DUGDALE
  2. Department of Human Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, WC1, UK

    • P. R. PAYNE


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