Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF EARLY DIETARY FACTORS ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Effects of fat mass on motor development during the first two years of life

Authors
item Andres, Aline -
item Bellando, Jayne -
item Casey, Patrick -
item Cleves, Mario -
item Badger, Thomas

Submitted to: Infant, Child and Adolecscent Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2013
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Citation: Andres, A., Bellando, J., Casey, P., Cleves, M., Badger, T.M. 2013. Effects of fat mass on motor development during the first two years of life. Infant, Child and Adolecscent Nutrition. 5(4):248-254.

Interpretive Summary: This study characterized total body fat mass and motor development during the first two years of life in healthy infants. Overweight status and total body fat mass were negatively associated with motor development scores. The relationship between total body fat mass and motor development scores was significant starting at 9 months until 24 months. Infants with high total body fat mass (=31%) scored 1.96 points lower on motor development scores at the same visit and 3.05 points lower on motor development scores at the following visit. However, neither anthropometric measures, nor total body fat mass was associated with the clinical diagnosis of delayed motor development. In conclusion, greater fat mass and overweight status were significantly associated with lower motor development scores in early childhood although average scores remained within the normal range.

Technical Abstract: Objective: This study characterized total body fat mass and motor development during the first two years of life in healthy infants. Design: Participants (N=469) from the Beginnings’ cohort, a prospective, longitudinal study of early infant feeding, were assessed at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months of age for a total of 2,231 observations. Growth was evaluated using standard anthropometric techniques and body composition was assessed using Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Motor development was evaluated using Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Mixed-effects models adjusted for race, sex, gestational age, birth weight, birth length, and maternal education were used for data analyses. Results: Greater weight-for-length Z-scores and overweight status were negatively associated with subsequent psychomotor development index (PDI) scores (P<0.01) and total body fat mass was negatively associated with concurrent and subsequent PDI scores (P<0.01). The relationship between total body fat mass and PDI scores was significant starting at 9 mo (-0.18, p=0.01) until 24 mo (-0.39, p=0.04). Infants with high total body fat mass (=31%) scored 1.96 points lower on concurrent PDI and 3.05 points lower on subsequent PDI. However, neither anthropometric measures, nor total body fat mass was associated with the clinical diagnosis of delayed motor development defined by PDI scores below 85. Conclusions: Greater fat mass and overweight status were significantly associated with lower motor development in early childhood although average scores remained within the normal range.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page