Diet, growth, and obesity development throughout childhood in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children

Pauline Emmett, Louise Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Publications from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children covering diet, growth, and obesity development during childhood are reviewed. Diet was assessed by food frequency questionnaires and food records. Growth data were collected by routine measurements, and in standardized clinics, body fatness was assessed by bioelectrical impedance and DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scans. Diets changed dramatically during the preschool period with an increase in the intake of free (added) sugars (12.3% rising to 16.4% of energy) that remained similar until adolescence. This was due to increased intake of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. Two periods of rapid growth were identified; infancy and mid-childhood (ages 7-11 y) and both were associated with obesity development. Diets with high energy density were associated with increasing fat mass from mid-childhood until adolescence. Genetic and dietary factors showed independent associations with increasing adiposity. At all ages studied, there were dietary inequalities related to maternal educational attainment that may influence inequalities found in obesity development. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children has provided valuable insights into how disparities in diet and growth may affect the development of ill health in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-206
Number of pages32
JournalNutrition Research Reviews
Volume73 Suppl 3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Adiposity
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet
  • Diet Records
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Educational Status
  • Energy Intake
  • England
  • Food Habits
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Nutritive Value
  • Parents
  • Pediatric Obesity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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