Associations of appetitive traits with growth velocities from infancy to childhood.
Several studies have reported associations between appetitive traits and weight gain during infancy or childhood, but none have directly compared these associations across both age periods. Here, we tested the associations between appetitive traits and growth velocities from birth to childhood. Appetitive trait data were collected using the Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) in 149 children from the Cambridge Baby Growth Study at age 9-17 years. These participants also provided anthropometric measurements during infancy (birth, 3, 12, 18, and 24 months) and childhood (5 to 11 years). Standardized growth velocities (in weight, length/height, BMI, and body fat percentage) for 0-3 months, 3-24 months, and 24 months to childhood were estimated using individual linear-spline models. Associations between each of the eight CEBQ traits and each growth velocity were tested in separate multilevel linear regression models, adjusted for sex, age at CEBQ completion, and the corresponding birth measurement (weight, length, BMI, or body fat percentage). The three food-approach traits (food responsiveness, enjoyment of food and emotional overeating) were positively associated with infancy and childhood growth velocities in weight, BMI, and body fat percentage. By contrast, only one of the food-avoidant traits, satiety responsiveness, was negatively associated with all growth velocities. Significant associations were mostly of similar magnitude across all age periods. These findings reveal a broadly consistent relationship between appetitive traits with gains in weight and adiposity throughout infancy and childhood. Future interventions and strategies to prevent obesity may benefit from measuring appetitive traits in infants and children and targeting these as part of their programs.
Medical Research Council (G1001995)