Food and Behaviour Research

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Adherence to a snacking dietary pattern and soda intake are related to the development of adiposity: a prospective study in school-age children

Shroff MR, Perng W, Baylin A, Mora-Plazas M, Marin C, Villamor E. (2013) Public Health Nutrition Volume 17 pp 1507-1513 Cambridge Journals Online

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.


Objective: 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.

Design: 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.

Subjects: Children (n 961) 5–12 years of age.

Setting: Public schools in Bogotá, Colombia.

Results: 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 0·09kg/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.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that snacking and soda intake are associated with development of adiposity in school-age children.