Prospective association of protein intake during puberty with body composition in young adulthood

Authors

  • K.E. Assmann,

    1. IEL-Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, DONALD Study at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Germany
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  • G. Joslowski,

    1. IEL-Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, DONALD Study at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Germany
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  • A.E. Buyken,

    Corresponding author
    1. IEL-Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, DONALD Study at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Germany
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  • G. Cheng,

    1. Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Department of Nutritional, Food, and Consumer Sciences, Fulda, Germany
    2. West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Peoples' Republic of China
    3. The Food Safety Monitoring and Risk Assessment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Peoples' Republic of China
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  • T. Remer,

    1. IEL-Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, DONALD Study at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Germany
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  • A. Kroke,

    1. Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Department of Nutritional, Food, and Consumer Sciences, Fulda, Germany
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  • A.L.B. Günther

    1. Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Department of Nutritional, Food, and Consumer Sciences, Fulda, Germany
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  • Disclosures: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

    Funding agencies: The contributions of the authors were as follows: KEA: conducted the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript; AEB, ALBG and AK: conceived the research project; all authors: made substantial contributions to the interpretation of the results. AEB supervised the study.

Abstract

Objective

To examine the association of habitual animal and plant protein intake during the potentially critical period of puberty with body composition in young adulthood.

Design and Methods

Multivariable regression analyses were performed on data from 140 female and 122 male participants of the DONALD Study with ≥2 3-day weighed dietary records during puberty (girls 9-14 years; boys 10-15 years) and anthropometric measurements in young adulthood (18-25 years). Fat-free mass index (FFMI) and fat mass index (FMI) were estimated from four skinfolds.

Results

In women, a higher pubertal animal protein consumption was independently related to higher levels of FFMI (ptrend = 0.001), but not to FMI (ptrend = 0.5). Adjusted means of FFMI in energy-adjusted tertiles of animal protein intake were 15.3 (95% confidence interval: 15.0, 15.5), 15.4 (15.1, 15.7), 16.2 (15.9, 16.6) kg/m2. In men, a higher animal protein intake was related to a higher FFMI (ptrend = 0.04) and a lower FMI (ptrend = 0.001) only after adjusting FFMI for current FMI levels and vice versa. Plant protein was not associated with body composition among either sex.

Conclusions

Our results show that a higher pubertal animal protein consumption may yield a higher fat-free mass in young adulthood.

Ancillary