Control Mechanisms

Although it is clear that increased risk of chronic disease and obesity are associated with exposure to both deficiencies and excesses of energy and nutrients in utero and in early life 32 , there has been very little examination of the role of nutrients in the development of food intake regulatory mechanisms in the etiology of metabolic disease. As with many physiological systems, the development of intake control mechanisms would be expected to occur both in utero and in the early life of the...

Measurement of the Protein Requirement

The procedure known as 'nitrogen balance' has been, and still is, the basis of all the procedures used to estimate the protein requirement. Nitrogen balance is the difference between the dietary intake of nitrogen and the total losses of nitrogen (including urine, feces and miscellaneous losses such as sweat, skin and hair losses). As almost all the nitrogen in the body is in the form of protein, the nitrogen balance represents the protein balance, with protein equal to 6.25 times nitrogen. To...

Evaluation of Body Composition

Direct Measurements of Body Composition Most of our knowledge on the body composition of preterm infants is derived from body carcass analyses of stillborn preterm infants. The first values were reported in 1877, and thus far 169 infants have been analyzed 3 . However, not all analyzed fetuses can be considered for reference material because gestational age, and time and cause of death were either not reported or may not have been accurately obtained. Nevertheless, more recent studies using...

Protective Effects of Breastfeeding against Later Obesity

It has long been known that populations of infants fed breast milk or formula differ in their growth kinetics, with formula-fed infants showing higher weight and length gains 26 . Based on a systematic review of 19 studies in affluent populations, Dewey 27 concluded that by the age of 12 months, the cumulative difference in body weight amounts to approximately 400 g in infants breast fed for 9 months and as much as 600-650 g in infants who are breast fed for 12 months. Given this very large...

Programming of Later Obesity Risk

Childhood obesity is now considered a global epidemic in view of the alarming increase in its prevalence and severity, not only in affluent but also in less privileged childhood populations worldwide 11-13 . Serious short -and long-term consequences of childhood obesity arise in terms of damage to quality of life, performance, health and life expectancy. In addition, the size of the obesity epidemic is estimated to create huge costs for society due to loss of productivity and ensuing costs for...

Potential Causes for the Protective Effects of Breastfeeding on Later Obesity

A number of hypotheses can be raised on the potential causes of a protective effect of breastfeeding. Even though the inverse relationship of both breastfeeding and breastfeeding duration with later obesity persists after adjustment for measurable confounding variables, residual confounding cannot be fully excluded. Since one cannot randomize healthy babies to either breast milk or formula feeding for ethical and practical reasons, undisputable proof for a protective effect of breastfeeding can...

Infant Iron and Zinc Status

There is very little information on the effects of the age at introduction of complementary foods on iron or zinc status of breast-fed infants. These two nutrients have been identified as the most likely limiting nutrients among EBF infants during the first 6 months of life 19 . Although the adequacy of certain vitamins during the period of exclusive breastfeeding may also be of concern, depending on maternal diet and nutritional status, these concerns can generally be addressed by assuring...

Establishing the Tolerable Upper Intake Level

With the growing availability of nutrients at high levels in the diet compared to amounts obtained from typical natural food-based sources, the need to ascertain a level of intake that would not pose an increased risk of adverse effects due to overconsumption was needed. The traditional model for risk assessment was adapted for nutrients, giving rise to the fourth category of DRIs, the UL (table 2). Establishing upper levels of nutrient intake that do not increase the risk of adverse effects is...

Consequences of Deficit and Excess Energy Intake

Deficit energy intake and negative energy balance can be acute or chronic 9 . Acute energy deficiency results in short-term negative energy balance during which there is a progressive loss of body weight. Chronic energy deficiency reflects long-term inadequate food intake during which a steady state is achieved at a suboptimal nutritional status. Energy deficit in children leads to growth retardation, loss of fat and muscle, delayed motor, cognitive and behavioral development, diminished...

References

1 Fomon SJ Requirements and recommended dietary intakes of protein during infancy. Pediatr Res 1991 30 391-395. 2 Energy and protein requirements. Joint FAO WHO UNU Expert Consultation. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 1985 724 64-112. 3 Dewey KG, Beaton GH, Fjeld B, et al Protein requirements of infants and children. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996 50(suppl 1) S119-S150. 4 Donovan SM, L nnerdal B Non-protein nitrogen and true protein in infant formulas. Acta Paediatr Scand 1989 78 497-504. 5 European...