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Infant body composition in the PEA POD® era: what have we learned and where do we go from here?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 November 2012

C. Li
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
L. J. McCargar
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
L. M. Casey*
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Address for correspondence: Dr L. M. Casey, 4-571 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405-87 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 1G9. Email


The availability of clinically feasible infant body composition assessment can inform current questions regarding the developmental origins of chronic disease. A strategic approach will facilitate more rapid advancement in knowledge. The objective of this study was to summarize published evidence and ongoing research activity in infant body composition using the PEA POD® infant body composition system. All published studies using the PEA POD® were identified and grouped according to study population and question. All centers with PEA POD® units were invited to participate in an online survey regarding past, current and future PEA POD® use, and results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The resulting information was used to identify gaps or limitations in existing knowledge, thus highlighting potential research priorities. Twenty-seven published articles were identified and grouped into six research themes. Although the number of infants studied is significant in some areas, interpretation of data is limited by methodological differences. Survey responses were received from 16 of ∼60 centers. Research themes echoed those identified from the published literature. Controlling for or reporting potential confounding variables is essential for understanding infant body composition data. Measurement of health outcome variables would be helpful in identifying associations.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press and the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2012 

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