Conclusions: An infant dietary pattern characterized by high intakes of dairy and cheese, whole grains, and eggs is positively associated with bone development in childhood. Further research is needed to investigate the consequences for bone health in later life.Results: Higher adherence score to a “dairy and whole grains” pattern was positively associated with BMD and aBMC, but not with BMC and BA. Accordingly, children in the highest quartile of the “dairy and whole grains” pattern had higher BMD (difference 3.98 mg/cm<sup>2</sup>, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.36 to 7.61) and aBMC (difference 4.96 g, 95 % CI 1.27 to 8.64) than children in the lowest quartile. Stratification for vitamin D supplementation showed that the positive associations between the “dairy and whole grains” pattern and bone outcomes were only observed in children who did not receive vitamin D supplementation. A “potatoes, rice, and vegetables” and a “refined grains and confectionery” pattern were not consistently associated with bone outcomes.Introduction: Nutrition in early life may affect peak bone mass attainment. Previous studies on childhood nutrition and skeletal health mainly focused on individual nutrients, which does not consider the cumulative effects of nutrients. We investigated the associations between dietary patterns in infancy and childhood bone health.Methods: This study included 2850 children participating in a population-based prospective cohort study. Dietary information was obtained from a food frequency questionnaire at the age of 13 months. Using principal component analysis, three major dietary patterns were extracted, explaining in total 30 % of the variation in dietary intake. At the age of 6 years, a total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was performed, and bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), area-adjusted BMC (aBMC), and bone area (BA) were analyzed.Summary: Early life nutrition affects peak bone mass attainment. In this prospective cohort study, children with high adherence to a “dairy and whole grains” pattern in infancy had higher bone mineral density at the age of 6 years. Although the observed effects are small, our study provides insight into mechanisms linking early nutrition to bone acquisition in childhood.

Bone development, Bone mineral density, Childhood, Cohort, Dietary pattern,
Osteoporosis International: with other metabolic bone diseases
Department of Internal Medicine

van den Hooven, E.H, Heppe, D.H.M, Kiefte-de Jong, J.C, Medina-Gomez, M.C, Moll, H.A, Hofman, A, … Franco, O.H. (2015). Infant dietary patterns and bone mass in childhood: the Generation R Study. Osteoporosis International: with other metabolic bone diseases, 26(5), 1595–1604. doi:10.1007/s00198-015-3033-1