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Body size and body composition: a comparison of children in India and the UK through infancy and childhood

Body size and body composition: a comparison of children in India and the UK through infancy and childhood
Body size and body composition: a comparison of children in India and the UK through infancy and childhood
Background

Indian babies are characterised by the ‘thin-fat phenotype’ which comprises a ‘muscle-thin but adipose’ body composition compared with European babies. This body phenotype is of concern because it is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We examined whether the ‘thin-fat phenotype’ persists through early childhood, comparing Indian children with white Caucasians in the UK at birth, infancy and childhood, using comparable measurement protocols.

Methods

We used data from two cohorts, the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study (N=631) and the Southampton Women's Survey (N=2643). Measurements of weight, head circumference, mid-upper arm circumference, height, triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness were compared at birth, 1, 2, 3 and 6?years of age. SD scores were generated for the Pune children, using the Southampton children as a reference. Generalised estimating equations were used to examine the changes in SD scores across the children's ages.

Results

The Indian children were smaller at birth in all body measurements than the Southampton children and became relatively even smaller from birth to 2?years, before ‘catching up’ to some extent at 3?years, and more so by 6?years. The deficit for both skinfolds was markedly less than for other measurements at all ages; triceps skinfold showed the least difference between the two cohorts at birth, and subscapular skinfold at all ages after birth.

Conclusions

The ‘thin-fat phenotype’ previously found in Indian newborns, remains through infancy and early childhood. Despite being shorter and lighter than UK children, Indian children are relatively adipose.
0143-005X
1-7
D'Angelo, S.
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Yajnik, C.S.
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Joglekar, C.
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Lubree, H.
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Crozier, S.R.
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Godfrey, K.M.
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Robinson, S.M.
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Fall, C.H.D.
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Inskip, H.M.
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D'Angelo, S.
13375ecd-1117-4b6e-99c0-32239f52eed6
Yajnik, C.S.
ea0648f2-b384-4e5c-9e0f-45cc852e0c75
Joglekar, C.
70e3e271-1071-46f2-9986-790d7e8fea6b
Lubree, H.
8eb89027-3dd5-48cb-bb28-d7ba59c8fd25
Crozier, S.R.
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Godfrey, K.M.
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Robinson, S.M.
ba591c98-4380-456a-be8a-c452f992b69b
Fall, C.H.D.
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Inskip, H.M.
5fb4470a-9379-49b2-a533-9da8e61058b7

D'Angelo, S., Yajnik, C.S., Joglekar, C., Lubree, H., Crozier, S.R., Godfrey, K.M., Robinson, S.M., Fall, C.H.D. and Inskip, H.M. (2015) Body size and body composition: a comparison of children in India and the UK through infancy and childhood. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 69 (12), 1-7. (doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204998). (PMID:26186243)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background

Indian babies are characterised by the ‘thin-fat phenotype’ which comprises a ‘muscle-thin but adipose’ body composition compared with European babies. This body phenotype is of concern because it is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We examined whether the ‘thin-fat phenotype’ persists through early childhood, comparing Indian children with white Caucasians in the UK at birth, infancy and childhood, using comparable measurement protocols.

Methods

We used data from two cohorts, the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study (N=631) and the Southampton Women's Survey (N=2643). Measurements of weight, head circumference, mid-upper arm circumference, height, triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness were compared at birth, 1, 2, 3 and 6?years of age. SD scores were generated for the Pune children, using the Southampton children as a reference. Generalised estimating equations were used to examine the changes in SD scores across the children's ages.

Results

The Indian children were smaller at birth in all body measurements than the Southampton children and became relatively even smaller from birth to 2?years, before ‘catching up’ to some extent at 3?years, and more so by 6?years. The deficit for both skinfolds was markedly less than for other measurements at all ages; triceps skinfold showed the least difference between the two cohorts at birth, and subscapular skinfold at all ages after birth.

Conclusions

The ‘thin-fat phenotype’ previously found in Indian newborns, remains through infancy and early childhood. Despite being shorter and lighter than UK children, Indian children are relatively adipose.

Text
Body Composition Pune SWS resubmit-1 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Submitted date: July 2015
Accepted/In Press date: 2 July 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 July 2015
Published date: December 2015
Organisations: MRC Life-Course Epidemiology Unit

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 379347
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/379347
ISSN: 0143-005X
PURE UUID: e0bba58b-ad50-43e7-bf52-9ac6799c2127
ORCID for S. D'Angelo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7267-1837
ORCID for S.R. Crozier: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9524-1127
ORCID for K.M. Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618
ORCID for S.M. Robinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1766-7269
ORCID for C.H.D. Fall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4402-5552
ORCID for H.M. Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jul 2015 10:44
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:18

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Contributors

Author: S. D'Angelo ORCID iD
Author: C.S. Yajnik
Author: C. Joglekar
Author: H. Lubree
Author: S.R. Crozier ORCID iD
Author: K.M. Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: S.M. Robinson ORCID iD
Author: C.H.D. Fall ORCID iD
Author: H.M. Inskip ORCID iD

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