Mother's body mass index and food intake in school-aged children: results of the GINIplus and the LISAplus studies

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:Mother's body mass index (BMI) is a strong predictor of child BMI. Whether mother's BMI correlates with child's food intake is unclear. We investigated associations between mother's BMI/overweight and child's food intake using data from two German birth cohorts.SUBJECTS/METHODS:Food intakes from 3230 participants were derived from parent-completed food frequency questionnaires. Intakes of 11 food groups were categorized into three levels using groupand sex-specific tertile cutoffs. Mother's BMI and overweight were calculated on the basis of questionnaire data. Multinomial regression models assessed associations between a child's food intake and mother's BMI/overweight. Linear regression models assessed associations between a child's total energy intake and mother's BMI. Models were adjusted for study region, maternal education, child's age, sex, pubertal status and energy intake and the BMIs of the child and father.RESULTS:Mothers’ BMI was associated with high meat intake in children (adjusted relative risk ratio (RRR (95% confidence interval)) = 1.06 (1.03; 1.09)). Mothers’ overweight was associated with the meat intake (medium versus low RRR = 1.30 (1.07; 1.59); high versus low RRR = 1.50 (1.19; 1.89)) and egg intake (medium versus low RRR = 1.24 (1.02; 1.50); high versus low RRR = 1.30 (1.07; 1.60)) of children. There were no consistent associations for rest of the food groups. For every one-unit increase in mothers’ BMI, the total energy intake in children increased by 9.2 kcal (3.7; 14.7). However, this effect was not significant after adjusting for children's BMI.CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that mother's BMI and mother's overweight are important correlates of a child's intake of energy, meat and eggs.

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