High energy expenditure is not protective against increased adiposity in children

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Abstract

Background

Low levels of energy expenditure (TEE) may contribute to excess weight during childhood, but limited longitudinal data exist.

Objectives

This is to test whether low TEE during the first 6 years of life could predict excess weight status at 8 years.

Methods

Total energy expenditure from doubly labelled water, weight, stature, waist circumference and fat mass and fat-free mass (FFM) in children at 0.25, 2, 4 and 6 years of age. This cohort includes individuals at high (n = 27) and low risk (n = 26) for childhood obesity, based upon whether pre-pregnant maternal obesity. A linear mixed effects model was fit to TEE. Individual variation was accounted for as a random effect. Residual TEE was calculated for age and individually averaged across time.

Results

Fat-free mass (kg) was highly correlated (R2 = 0.91) with TEE (kcal/day), and waist circumference and sex were also significant predictors of TEE. TEE residual tracked within individuals. TEE residuals did not correlate with either BMI or %fat at age 8 years.

Conclusion

Using the residual TEE approach to identify high and low TEE during the first 6 years of life did not explain excess weight at 8 years of life in this cohort of children at high and low risk of obesity based upon maternal obesity status.

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