Dietary fiber (DF) intake may be beneficial for cardiometabolic health. However, whether this already occurs in early childhood is unclear. We investigated associations between DF intake in infancy and cardiometabolic health in childhood among 2032 children participating in a population-based cohort in The Netherlands. Information on DF intake at a median age of 12.9 months was collected using a food-frequency questionnaire. DF was adjusted for energy intake using the residual method. At age 6 years, body fat percentage, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, insulin, triglycerides, and blood pressure were assessed and expressed in age- and sex-specific standard deviation scores (SDS). These five factors were combined into a cardiometabolic risk factor score. In models adjusted for several parental and child covariates, a higher DF intake was associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk factor score. When we examined individual cardiometabolic factors, we observed that a 1 g/day higher energy-adjusted DF intake was associated with 0.026 SDS higher HDL-cholesterol (95% CI 0.009, 0.042), and 0.020 SDS lower triglycerides (95% CI 0.037, 0.003), but not with body fat, insulin, or blood pressure. Results were similar for DF with and without adjustment for energy intake. Our findings suggest that higher DF intake in infancy may be associated with better cardiometabolic health in later childhood.

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Keywords Blood pressure, Body fat, Cohort, Dietary fiber, Early childhood, HDL-C, Insulin, Triglyceride
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Journal Nutrients
van Gijssel, R.M.A, Braun, K.V.E, Kiefte-de Jong, J.C, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Franco, O.H, & Voortman, R.G. (2016). Associations between dietary fiber intake in infancy and cardiometabolic health at school age: The generation R study. Nutrients, 8(9). doi:10.3390/nu8090531