Importance: A rapid increase in weight in early life is associated with an increased risk for adiposity and cardiovascular diseases at age 21 years and beyond. However, data on associations of early change in measured fat mass percentage (FM%) with adiposity development are lacking. Objective: To investigate whether a rapid increase in FM% in the first months of life is associated with higher trajectories of body fat mass during the first 2 years of life. Design, Setting, and Participants: A birth cohort consisting of 401 healthy, term-born infants of the Sophia Pluto Cohort Study was analyzed. Participants were born between January 7, 2013, and October 13, 2017. Data were analyzed from February 1, 2020, to May 20, 2020. Interventions: Longitudinal measurements of FM% by air-displacement plethysmography and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat mass (FM) by ultrasonography in infants at ages 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months. A rapid increase in FM% was defined as a change in FM% of greater than 0.67 standard deviation scores (SDS). Main Outcomes and Measures: Associations between change in FM% SDS in the first and second 6-month period of life with body composition at age 2 years and whether a rapid increase in FM% SDS during the first 6 months leads to higher body FM and abdominal FM trajectories during the first 2 years of life. Results: Of the 401 participants, 228 infants (57%) were male. Change in FM% SDS from age 1 to 6 months was positively associated with FM% (β, 0.044; 95% CI, 0.017-0.068), FMI (β, 0.061; 95% CI, 0.032-0.091), and abdominal subcutaneous FM (β, 0.064; 95% CI, 0.036-0.092) at age 2 years, but not with visceral FM. In contrast, no associations were found within the 6-to 12-month period. Infants with a rapid increase in FM% of greater than 0.67 SDS in the first 6 months of life had higher trajectories of FM%, FM index, and subcutaneous FM during the first 2 years of life (all P≤.001), but visceral FM index was not significantly different compared with infants without a rapid increase (P =.12). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, only the change in FM% in the first 6 months of life was associated with more adiposity at age 2 years. Infants with a rapid increase in FM% had higher trajectories of FM% and FM index during the first 2 years of life. These findings appear to support a critical window for adiposity programming in early life.,
JAMA Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics

de Fluiter, K.S, van Beijsterveldt, I.A.L.P, Breij, L, Acton, D.S, & Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S. (2020). Association between Fat Mass in Early Life and Later Fat Mass Trajectories. JAMA Pediatrics. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.2673