Promotion of weight gain in early childhood does not increase metabolic risk in adolescents: A 15-year follow-up of a cluster-randomized controlled trial

Iná S. Santos, Alicia Matijasevich, Maria Cećilia F Assunção, Neiva C J Valle, Bernardo L. Horta, Helen D. Gonçalves, Denise P. Gigante, José C. Martines, Gretel Pelto, Cesar G. Victora

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Abstract

Background: A rapid gain in weight for length may put children at a higher risk of noncommunicable diseases later in life. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effects of nutrition counseling delivered in the first 2 y of life in Pelotas, a city in Southern Brazil. Methods: The original cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 1998. Nutrition counseling (breastfeeding promotion and increased intake of micronutrient-rich and energy-dense foods) was delivered to mothers of children aged 0-17.9 mo attending primary care. Six months later, weight gain was higher in the intervention group than in the control group for children ≥12 mo of age at enrollment. In 2013 (mean age 15 y), assessments included anthropometric measurements, body composition (air-displacement plethysmography), body shape (3-dimensional photonic scan), and plasma total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, and glucose. Results: A total of 363 of the 424 original participants were assessed. An a priori decision was made to prioritize analyses of subjects aged 12-17.9 mo at enrollment (51 from the intervention group and 45 from the control group). In this subgroup, boys in the intervention group were [mean (95% CI)] 3.4 (0.8, 6.0) cm taller than those in the control group. Systolic blood pressure tended to be 5.2 (-0.8, 11.1)mmHg higher in male subjects fromthe intervention group than in those in the control group. Lipid profiles tended to be healthier in the intervention group. The plasma total cholesterol concentration was -17.8 (-29.8, -5.7) mg/dL lower in boys in the intervention group than in those in the control group. The total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio and triglyceride concentration in the girls in the intervention group were -0.4 (-0.6, -0.1) and -26.3 (-46.3, -6.3) mg/dL, respectively, lower than in the control group. There was no difference between the groups in terms of body composition. Conclusions: Promotion of weight gain in children between 12.0-17.9 mo of agewas not associated with higher metabolic risk 15 y later. On the contrary, there was some evidence of reduced metabolic risk in the intervention group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2749-2755
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume145
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Child growth
  • Metabolic risk
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Santos, I. S., Matijasevich, A., Assunção, M. C. F., Valle, N. C. J., Horta, B. L., Gonçalves, H. D., ... Victora, C. G. (2015). Promotion of weight gain in early childhood does not increase metabolic risk in adolescents: A 15-year follow-up of a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nutrition, 145(12), 2749-2755. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.115.212134