In the research described in this thesis we studied nutrition in early life, particularly in early childhood, and its association with body composition and cardiometabolic health. Nutritional factors of interest were protein intake, fatty acid intake and blood levels, vitamin D status, and dietary patterns. Studies include systematic reviews of the literature and analyses in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort from fetal life onward in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Overall, our results suggest that diet quality and vitamin D status in early childhood are suboptimal. Furthermore, our results show that a lower protein intake in early childhood, a fatty acid pattern characterized by high levels of n-3 fatty acids during fetal life, and an overall healthy dietary pattern in early childhood may be beneficial for later body composition and for certain cardiometabolic markers.

Although effect sizes were small, our findings may be important for early prevention of obesity and cardiometabolic diseases on a population level. Public health interventions and future scientific research should therefore put more focus on nutrition quality in early childhood.

, , , , ,
O.H. Franco (Oscar) , V.W.V. Jaddoe (Vincent)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Publication of this thesis was kindly supported by the Department of Epidemiology of Erasmus Medical Center, by Erasmus University Rotterdam, and by Nestlé Research Center (Nestic Ltd.). Additional financial support by the Dutch Heart Foundation for the publication of this thesis is gratefully acknowledged.
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Voortman, T. (2015, October 28). Nutrition, body composition, and cardiometabolic health in children. Retrieved from