Fat tissue accretion in children and adolescents: Interplay between food responsiveness, gender, and the home availability of snacks

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Abstract

© 2017 De Decker, Verbeken, Sioen, Moens, Braet and De Henauw. The appetitive trait "food responsiveness" is assumed to be a risk factor for adiposity gain primarily in obesogenic environments. So far, the reported results are inconsistent in school-aged children, possibly because these studies did not take into account important moderators such as gender and the food-environment. In order to better inform caregivers, clinicians and the developers of targeted obesity-prevention interventions on the conditions in which food responsiveness precedes adiposity gain, the current study investigated if this relationship is s tronger in girls and in children exposed to a higher home availability of energy-dense snacks. Age- and sex-independent Fat and Lean Mass Index z-scores were computed based on air-displacement plethysmography at baseline and after 2 years in a community sample of 129 children (48.8% boys) aged 7.5-14 years at baseline. Parents reported at baseline on children's food responsiveness and the home availability of energy-dense snacks. Food responsiveness was a significant predictor of increases in Fat Mass Index z-scores over 2 years in girls but not boys. The home availability of energy-dense snacks did not significantly moderate the relation of food responsiveness with Fat Mass Index z-score changes. The results suggest that food responsiveness precedes accelerated fat tissue accretion in girls, and may inform targeted obesity-prevention interventions. Further, future research should investigate to which food-environmental parameters children high in food responsiveness mainly respond.

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De Decker, A., Verbeken, S., Sioen, I., Moens, E., Braet, C., & De Henauw, S. (2017). Fat tissue accretion in children and adolescents: Interplay between food responsiveness, gender, and the home availability of snacks. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JAN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02041

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