High sugar intake in childhood has been linked to obesity. However, the role of macronutrient substitutions and associations with metabolic health remain unclear. We examined associations of carbohydrate intake and its subtypes with body composition and metabolic health among 3573 children participating in a population-based cohort in the Netherlands. Intake of total carbohydrate, monosaccharides and disaccharides, and polysaccharides at age 1 year was assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire. We repeatedly measured children’s height and weight to calculate BMI between their ages of 1 and 10 years. At ages 6 and 10 years, fat and fat-free mass were measured with dual-energy X-ray-absorptiometry and blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, and insulin were obtained. For all outcomes, we calculated age and sexspecific SD-scores. In multivariable-adjusted linear mixed models, we found no associations of intake of carbohydrates or its subtypes with children’s BMI or body composition. A higher intake of monosaccharides and disaccharides was associated with higher triglyceride concentrations (0.02 SDS per 10 g/day, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.04). Higher monosaccharide and disaccharide intake was also associated with lower HDL-cholesterol (−0.03 SDS, 95% CI: −0.04; −0.01), especially when it replaced polysaccharides. Overall, our findings suggest associations of higher monosaccharide and disaccharide intake in early childhood with higher triglyceride and lower HDL-cholesterol concentrations, but do not support associations with body composition.

Additional Metadata
Keywords carbohydrates, macronutrients, childhood, infancy, obesity, cholesterol, cohort
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12071940, hdl.handle.net/1765/130553
Journal Nutrients
Nguyen, A.N, Santos, S.M.S, Braun, K.V.E, & Voortman, R.G. (2020). Carbohydrate Intake in Early Childhood and Body Composition and Metabolic Health: Results from the Generation R Study. Nutrients, 12(7). doi:10.3390/nu12071940