Objective: To assess relationships between dietary intake at age 12, 18 and 36 months and BMI Z-scores at age 36 months in a bi-ethnic group.
Design: A prospective cohort study comparing cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Exposures included dietary intake at 12, 18 and 36 months (FFQ) with an outcome of BMI Z-score at age 36 months.
Setting: Born in Bradford 1000 study, Bradford, UK.
Subjects: Infants at age 12 months (n 722; 44 % White British, 56 % Pakistani), 18 months (n 779; 44 % White British, 56 % Pakistani) and 36 months (n 845; 45 % White British, 55 % Pakistani).
Results: Diet at age 12 months was not associated with BMI Z-score at age 36 months. Higher consumption of vegetables at 18 and 36 months was associated with a lower BMI Z-score at 36 months (model coefficient (95 % CI): -0·20 (-0·36, -0·03) and -0·16 (-0·31, -0·02), respectively). Higher consumption of high-fat chips at age 36 months was associated with a lower BMI Z-score at age 36 months (-0·16 (-0·32, 0·00)). Overall, White British children had higher 36-month BMI Z-scores than Pakistani children (adjusted mean difference (95 % CI): 0·21 (0·02, 0·41)).
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that dietary intake at 18 and 36 months was somewhat related to BMI Z-score at age 36 months and suggest the importance of early interventions aimed at establishing healthy eating behaviours.
Keywords: BMI; Diet; Ethnicity; Infant; Obesity.