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Prospective associations between dietary patterns and body composition changes in European children: the IDEFICS study

  • Juan Miguel Fernández-Alvira (a1) (a2), Karin Bammann (a3), Gabriele Eiben (a4), Antje Hebestreit (a5), Yannis A Kourides (a6), Eva Kovacs (a7), Nathalie Michels (a8), Valeria Pala (a9), Lucia Reisch (a10), Paola Russo (a11), Tomas Veidebaum (a12), Luis A Moreno (a1) (a13) (a14) and Claudia Börnhorst (a5)...

Abstract

Objective

To describe dietary patterns by applying cluster analysis and to describe the cluster memberships of European children over time and their association with body composition changes.

Design

The analyses included k-means clustering based on the similarities between the relative frequencies of consumption of forty-three food items and regression models were fitted to assess the association between dietary patterns and body composition changes.

Setting

Primary schools and pre-schools of selected regions in Italy, Estonia, Cyprus, Belgium, Sweden, Hungary, Germany and Spain.

Subjects

Participants (n 8341) in the baseline (2–9 years old) and follow-up (4–11 years old) surveys of the IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS) study.

Results

Three persistent clusters were obtained at baseline and follow-up. Children consistently allocated to the ‘processed’ cluster presented increased BMI (β=0·050; 95 % CI 0·006, 0·093), increased waist circumference (β=0·071; 95 % CI 0·001, 0·141) and increased fat mass gain (β=0·052; 95 % CI 0·014, 0·090) over time v. children allocated to the ‘healthy’ cluster. Being in the ‘processed’–‘sweet’ cluster combination was also linked to increased BMI (β=0·079; 95 % CI 0·015, 0·143), increased waist circumference (β=0·172; 95 % CI 0·069, 0·275) and increased fat mass gain (β=0·076; 95 % CI 0·019, 0·133) over time v. the ‘healthy’ cluster.

Conclusions

Children consistently showing a processed dietary pattern or changing from a processed pattern to a sweet pattern presented the most unfavourable changes in fat mass and abdominal fat. These findings support the need to promote overall healthy dietary habits in obesity prevention and health promotion programmes targeting children.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email juanfdez@unizar.es; jmfernandeza@cnic.es

References

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