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Nutrition during the early life cycle

Macronutrient intake during infancy and neurodevelopment in preschool children from the EDEN mother–child cohort



Although the deleterious effect of micronutrient deficiency at sensitive periods on neurodevelopment is well established, the potential influence of macronutrient intake on early life neurodevelopment of healthy term infants has been seldomly studied. We aimed to explore whether macronutrient intake at 12 months was related to neurodevelopmental scores in preschool children.


Analyses were based on data from the EDEN mother-child cohort. Macronutrient intake was assessed by 3-day food records at 12 months of age. Neurodevelopment was assessed at 3 years using the French version of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) (n = 914), and at 5–6 years, using the French version of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence—Third Edition (n = 785). An association between macronutrient intake and neurodevelopmental scores were analysed by multivariable linear regression for 3-year Full Score ASQ or 5–6-year intelligence quotient scores and multivariable logistic regression for 3-year ASQ subdomains.


Macronutrient intake in infancy was not associated with neurodevelopmental scores in preschool children. No association was found between PUFA intake and overall neurodevelopmental scores, after accounting for multiple testing.


In the present study, macronutrient intake at one year did not appear to influence the child’s cognitive ability at 3 and 5–6 years. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between early fatty acid intake and neurodevelopment.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The data underlying the findings cannot be made freely available for ethical and legal restrictions imposed, because this study includes a substantial number of variables that, together, could be used to re-identify the participants based on a few key characteristics and then be used to have access to other personal data. Therefore, the French ethics authority strictly forbids making these data freely available. However, they can be obtained upon request from the EDEN principal investigator. Readers may contact to request the data. The analytic code will be made available upon request pending application and approval.


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This study was developed in the scope of the InfaDiet project (ANR grant no.: ANR-19-CE36-0008). This study was supported by the Epidemiology Research Unit- Institute of Public Health of University of Porto (ISPUP-EPIUnit/ISPUP/UP) (financed by national funding from FCT—UIBD/04750/2020), and by a PhD Individual Grant SFRH/BD/147822/2019 (ARM), funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology – FCT (Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science). The EDEN study was supported by the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM), French Ministry of Research: Federative Research Institutes and Cohort Program, INSERM Human Nutrition National Research Program, and Diabetes National Research Program (by a collaboration with the French Association of Diabetic Patients [AFD]), French Ministry of Health, French Agency for Environment Security (AFSSET), French National Institute for Population Health Surveillance (InVS), Paris‐Sud University, French National Institute for Health Education (INPES), Nestlé, Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale (MGEN), French‐speaking Association for the Study of Diabetes and Metabolism (ALFEDIAM), National Agency for Research (ANR non‐thematic programme), and National Institute for Research in Public Health (IRESP: TGIR 2008 cohort in health programme).

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Authors and Affiliations



ARM wrote the initial draft, performed data analysis, and had the final approval of the version to be published. DC contributed to statistical analysis and data interpretation. CL contributed to the conception of the study and interpretation of data. BdL-G supervised the analysis plan, assisted the statistical analysis and data interpretation. BH was responsible of the EDEN mother-child cohort. BH and JB were involved in collection, cleaning, and interpretation of the data. All authors reviewed drafts, provided critical feedback, read, and approved the final manuscript and were responsible for the final content of the paper.

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Correspondence to Blandine de Lauzon-Guillain.

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Marinho, A.R., Correia, D., Bernard, J.Y. et al. Macronutrient intake during infancy and neurodevelopment in preschool children from the EDEN mother–child cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr (2023).

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