Background: Higher meat and protein intakes have been associated with increased body weight in adults, but studies evaluating body composition are scarce. Furthermore, our knowledge in adolescents is limited. This study aimed to investigate the prospective associations of intakes of different meat types, and their respective protein contents during childhood, with body composition during adolescence.
Methods: Dietary (using food frequency questionnaires) and body composition (measured by bioelectrical impedance) data were collected from the 10- and 15-year follow-up assessments respectively, of the GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohort studies. Sex-stratified prospective associations of meat and meat protein intakes (total, processed, red meat and poultry) with fat mass index (FMI) and fat free mass index (FFMI), were assessed by linear regression models (N = 1610).
Results: Among males, higher poultry intakes at age 10 years were associated with a higher FMI at age 15 years [β = 0.278 (SE = 0.139), p = 0.046]; while higher intakes of total and red meat were prospectively associated with higher FFMI [0.386 (0.143), p = 0.007, and 0.333 (0.145), p = 0.022, respectively]. Additionally in males, protein was associated with FFMI for total and red meat [0.285 (0.145) and 0.356 (0.144), respectively].
Conclusions: Prospective associations of meat consumption with subsequent body composition in adolescents may differ by sex and meat source.
Keywords: Adolescence; Body composition; Fat free mass; Fat mass; Longitudinal study; Meat intake; Protein.