Faster Weight Gain in Infancy Predicts Adult Obesity

Dr Ken Ong, Programme Leader & Paediatric Endocrinologist MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge  MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation
Dr Ken Ong, Programme Leader & Paediatric Endocrinologist
MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge
Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science
Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge


Medical Research: What are the main findings of this report?

Dr. Ong: We found that genetic factors that predict adult obesity were associated with faster weight gain and growth during infancy – the findings indicate that the biological mechanisms that predispose to later obesity are already active from birth.


Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Ong: In adults these genetic factors particularly confer more body fat, but surprisingly in infants they promote proportionate gains in both fat and lean (muscle) mass. This indicates that the mechanisms of these genes very likely involve greater appetite and food intake rather than specific effects on body fat.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Ong: Our findings contribute to the growing evidence that life-long obesity risk can be predicted at very young ages – and hopefully modified by very early changes in lifestyle and diet.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Ong: We and others are studying how early life characteristics – such as rapid growth and weight gain and higher level of hunger – can be used to identify individual infants at high risk of obesity. We are also testing how we can support parents of infants to achieve optimal weight gain

Citation:
Associations Between Genetic Obesity Susceptibility and Early Postnatal Fat and Lean Mass: An Individual Participant Meta-analysis

Cathy E. Elks PhD, Barbara Heude PhD, Francis de Zegher MD, Sheila J. Barton PhD, Karine Clément PhD, Hazel M. Inskip PhD, Yves Koudou MSc, Cyrus Cooper FRCP, David B. Dunger FRCP, Lourdes Ibáñez MD, Marie-Aline Charles MD, PhD, Ken K. Ong FRCPCH

JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(12):-. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1619