Background:Overweight and obesity in early life tends to track into later life. Not much is known about tracking of abdominal fat. Our objective was to examine the extent of tracking of abdominal fat measures during the first six years of life.Design:We performed a prospective cohort study among 393 Dutch children followed from the age of 2 years (90% range 1.9; 2.3) until the age of 6 years (90% range 5.7; 6.2). At both ages, we performed abdominal ultrasound to measure abdominal subcutaneous and preperitoneal fat distances and areas, and we calculated the preperitoneal/subcutaneous fat distance ratio. High abdominal fat measures were defined as values in the upper 15%.Results:Abdominal subcutaneous fat distance and area, and preperitoneal fat area at 2 years were correlated with their corresponding measures at 6 years (all P-values <0.01), with the strongest coefficients for abdominal subcutaneous fat measures. Preperitoneal fat distance at the age of 2 years was not correlated with the corresponding measure at 6 years. The tracking coefficient for preperitoneal/subcutaneous fat distance ratio from 2 to 6 years was r=0.36 (P<0.01). Children with high abdominal subcutaneous fat measures at 2 years had increased risk of having high abdominal subcutaneous fat measures at 6 years (odds ratios 9.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.1-20.8) and 12.4 (95% CI 5.4-28.6) for subcutaneous fat distance and area, respectively). These associations were not observed for preperitoneal fat measures.Conclusions:Our findings suggest that both abdominal subcutaneous and preperitoneal fat mass measures track during childhood, but with stronger tracking for abdominal subcutaneous fat measures. An adverse abdominal fat distribution in early life may have long-term consequences.

doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2015.252, hdl.handle.net/1765/84825
International Journal of Obesity
Department of Pediatrics

Vogelezang, S, Gishti, O, Felix, J.F, van der Beek, E.M, Abrahamse-Berkeveld, M, Hofman, A, … Jaddoe, V.W.V. (2016). Tracking of abdominal subcutaneous and preperitoneal fat mass during childhood. The Generation R Study. International Journal of Obesity, 40(4), 595–600. doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.252