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Snacking has been related to increased prevalence of overweight among school-age children in cross-sectional studies. It is uncertain, however, whether snacking influences the development of adiposity over time.
We examined whether adherence to a snacking dietary pattern was associated with greater increases in children's BMI, subscapular:triceps skinfold thickness ratio and waist circumference over a median 2·5-year follow-up. Dietary patterns were identified through principal component analysis of an FFQ administered at recruitment in 2006. Anthropometric follow-up was conducted annually. Linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate rates of change in each indicator according to quartiles of adherence to the snacking pattern. We also examined change in BMI, subscapular:triceps skinfold thickness ratio and waist circumference in relation to intake of the food items in the snacking pattern.
Children (n 961) 5–12 years of age.
Public schools in Bogotá, Colombia.
After adjustment for age, sex, total energy intake and socio-economic status, children in the highest quartile of adherence to the snacking pattern had a 0·09 kg/m2 per year higher BMI gain than children in the lowest quartile (P trend = 0·05). A similar association was observed for mean change in subscapular:triceps skinfold thickness ratio (highest v. lowest quartile difference = 0·012/year; P = 0·03). Of the food items in the snacking pattern, soda intake was positively and significantly associated with change in BMI (P trend = 0·01) and waist circumference (P trend = 0·04) in multivariable analysis.
Our results indicate that snacking and soda intake are associated with development of adiposity in school-age children.
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