Body composition, diet, and physical activity: a longitudinal cohort study in preschoolers with cerebral palsy
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Background: Altered body composition in children with cerebral palsy (CP) could be due to differences in energy intake, habitual physical activity (HPA), and sedentary time. Objective: We investigated the longitudinal relation between the weight-for-age z score (WZ), fat-free mass (FFM), percentage of body fat (%BF), and modifiable lifestyle factors for all Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels (I–V). Design: The study was a longitudinal population-based cohort study of children with CP who were aged 18–60 mo (364 assessments in 161 children; boys: 61%; mean ± SD recruitment age: 2.8 ± 0.9 y; GMFCS: I, 48%; II, 11%; III, 15%; IV, 11%; and V, 15%). A deuterium dilution technique or bioelectrical impedance analysis was used to estimate FFM, and the %BF was calculated. Energy intake, HPA, and sedentary time were measured with the use of a 3-d weighed food diary and accelerometer wear. Data were analyzed with the use of a mixed-model analysis. Results: Children in GMFCS group I did not differ from age- and sex-specific reference children with typical development for weight. Children in GMFCS group IV were lighter-for-age, and children in GMFCS group V had a lower FFM-for-height than those in GMFCS group I. Children in GMFCS groups II–V had a higher %BF than that of children in GMFCS group I, with the exception of orally fed children in GMFCS group V. The mean %BF of children with CP classified them as overfat or obese. There was a positive association between energy intake and FFM and also between HPA level and FFM for children in GMFCS group I. Conclusions: Altered body composition was evident in preschool-age children with CP across functional capacities. Gross motor function, feeding method, energy intake, and HPA level in GMFCS I individuals are the strongest predictors of body composition in children with CP between the ages of 18 and 60 mo.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified