Infant body mass index (BMI) peak characteristics and early childhood BMI are emerging markers of future obesity and cardiometabolic disease risk, but little is known about their maternal nutritional determinants.
We investigated the associations of maternal macronutrient intake with infant BMI peak characteristics and childhood BMI in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes study.
With the use of infant BMI data from birth to age 18 mo, infant BMI peak characteristics [age (in months) and magnitude (BMIpeak; in kg/m2) at peak and prepeak velocities] were derived from subject-specific BMI curves that were fitted with the use of mixed-effects model with a natural cubic spline function. Associations of maternal macronutrient intake (assessed by using a 24-h recall during late gestation) with infant BMI peak characteristics (n = 910) and BMI z scores at ages 2, 3, and 4 y were examined with the use of multivariable linear regression.
Mean absolute maternal macronutrient intakes (percentages of energy) were 72 g protein (15.6%), 69 g fat (32.6%), and 238 g carbohydrate (51.8%). A 25-g (∼100-kcal) increase in maternal carbohydrate intake was associated with a 0.01/mo (95% CI: 0.0003, 0.01/mo) higher prepeak velocity and a 0.04 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.08) higher BMIpeak These associations were mainly driven by sugar intake, whereby a 25-g increment of maternal sugar intake was associated with a 0.02/mo (95% CI: 0.01, 0.03/mo) higher infant prepeak velocity and a 0.07 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.13) higher BMIpeak Higher maternal carbohydrate and sugar intakes were associated with a higher offspring BMI z score at ages 2-4 y. Maternal protein and fat intakes were not consistently associated with the studied outcomes.
Higher maternal carbohydrate and sugar intakes are associated with unfavorable infancy BMI peak characteristicsand higher early childhood BMI. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01174875.