Background and Aims: It has been postulated that the first 3 months of life are critical for programming of adult metabolic health. We investigated if Body Mass Index (BMI) and Fat Mass percentage (FM%) in early life tracks to 5 years of age and if feeding mode influences tracking.
Methods: In 268 term born, healthy infants from the Sophia Pluto cohort (161 boys ), BMI was determined at 3 and 6 months, 2 and 5 years of age. FM% was measured at 3 and 6 months by PEA POD and at 2 and 5 years by DEXA.
BMI and FM% were divided in quartiles. Odds ratio (OR) of remaining in the same quartile over time was determined with logistic regression models.
Feeding mode was defined as exclusively breastfed if children had breast milk until at least 3 months and as exclusively formula fed if children started formula before 1 month.
Results: Median BMI increased from 15.94 kg/m2 at 3 months to 16.62 kg/m2 at 6 months and decreased to 15.64 kg/m2 and 15.32 kg/m2 at 2 and 5 years, resp.
From 3 months to 2 years, BMI tracked in all quartiles: OR for tracking in the lowest quartile was 4.33 (p<0.001), in second 1.68 (p=0.046), in third 2.55 (p<0.001) and in highest 7.07 (p<0.001). Tracking remained present until 5 years in 3 quartiles, with OR in the lowest quartile of 6.56 (p=0.011), in third 6.40 (p=0.013) and in highest 7.23 (p=0.007).
Median FM% increased from 22.9% to 24.1% between 3 and 6 months and decreased to 16.7% and 13.7% at 2 and 5 years, resp.
From 3 months to 2 and 5 years FM% tracked in the highest quartile: OR 2.18(p=0.010) and 9.10 (p=0.005), resp. From 6 months to 2 years FM% tracked in 3 quartiles: OR for tracking in the lowest quartile was 3.03 (p<0.001), in third 2.02 (p=0.025) and in highest 3.72 (p<0.001). FM% tracked from 6 months to 5 years in 3 quartiles: OR for tracking in the lowest quartile was 8.00 (p=0.012), in second 21.75 (p=0.007) and in highest 4.33 (p=0.046).
Tracking of BMI and FM% was not influenced by feeding mode.
Conclusions: Our data show that BMI and FM% track through infancy into early childhood up to 5 years of age, suggesting that body composition is determined in the first months of life, regardless of feeding mode.
19 Sep 2019 - 21 Sep 2019