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Keywords:

  • Children;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Food frequency;
  • Obesity;
  • Overweight

Abstract

Aim: To investigate if food frequencies are related to overweight/obesity in 5-year-old children.

Methods: During 1997–1999, 21 700 infants were invited to participate in ABIS (All Babies in Southeast Sweden), a prospective, cohort study. Participants were followed from birth (n = 16 058) to 5 years (n = 7356). Food frequencies reported by parents at 2.5 and 5 years were studied in the relation to overweight/obesity at 5 years using multiple logistic regressions. A p-value < 0.01 was considered statistically significant.

Results: At 2.5 years frequencies of intake of cheese were positively associated with overweight/obesity at 5 years while porridge, fried potatoes/french fries and cream/crème fraiche showed a negative association. When adjusting for known risk factors, porridge and fried potatoes/french fries remained negatively associated with overweight/obesity. At 5 years, chocolate and lemonade were positively associated with overweight/obesity whereas cream/crème fraiche, pastries and candy were negatively associated. Candy remained negatively associated to overweight/obesity after adjustment for potential confounders.

Conclusion: Food frequencies do not offer any simple explanation for overweight/obesity. Porridge at 2.5 years may protect against overweight/obesity at 5 years, while lemonade may contribute to overweight. Our finding that fried potatoes/french fries may protect against overweight/obesity is unexpected and must be interpreted with caution. These findings should be confirmed by prospective studies using objective recordings.