Familial Resemblance of Body Composition, Physical Activity, and Resting Metabolic Rate in Pre-School Children
Kurosh Djafarian, John Speakman, Joanne Stewart, Diane Jackson
Background: Although parental obesity is a well-established predisposing factor for the development of obesity, associations between regional body compositions, resting metabolic rates (RMR), and physical activity (PA) of parents and their preschool children remain unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate parent-child correlations for total and regional body compositions, resting energy expenditures, and physical activity. Methods: Participants were 89 children aged 2-6 years and their parents, consisting of 61 families. Resting metabolic rate was assessed using indirect calorimetry. Total and regional body compositions were measured by both dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and deuterium dilution. Physical activity was assessed by an accelerometer. Results: There was a significant parent-offspring regression for total fat free mass (FFM) between children and their mothers (P=0.02), fathers (P=0.02), and mid-parent (average of father and mother value) (P=0.002) when measured by DXA. The same was true for fat mass (FM) between children and mothers (P<0.01), fathers (P=0.02), and mid-parent (P=0.001). There was no significant association between children and parents for physical activity during the entire week, weekend, weekdays, and different parts of days, except for morning activity, which was positively related to the mothers' morning activities (P<0.01) and mid-parent (P=0.009). No association was found between RMR of children and parents before and after correction for FFM and FM. Conclusion: These data suggest a familial resemblance for total body composition between children and their parents. Our data showed no familial resemblance for PA and RMR between children and their parents.
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