Early life programming of abdominal adiposity in adolescents: The HELENA study

Idoia Labayen, Jonatan R. Ruiz, Germán Vicente-Rodríguez, Dominique Turck, Gerardo Rodríguez, Aline Meirhaeghe, Denes Molnár, Michael Sjöström, Manuel J. Castillo, Frederic Gottrand, Luis A. Moreno

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OBJECTIVE - To examine the relationship between birth weight and abdominal adiposity in adolescents. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A total of 284 adolescents (49.3% of whom were female) aged 14.9 ± 1.2 years were included in the study. Birth weight and gestational age were obtained from parental records. Abdominal adiposity (in three regions: R1, R2, and R3) and trunk and total body fat mass were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Regional fat mass indexes (FMIs) were thereafter calculated as fat mass divided by the square of height (Trunk FMI and abdominal FMI R1, R2, and R3). RESULTS- Birth weight was negatively associated with abdominal FMI R1, R2, and R3 independently of total fat mass, gestational age, sex, breast-feeding duration, pubertal stage, physical activity, and socioeconomic status (all P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS - Our study shows an inverse association between birth weight and abdominal adiposity in adolescents independently of total fat mass and other potential confounders. These findings suggest that fetal nutrition, as reflected by birth weight, may have a programming effect on abdominal adiposity later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2120-2122
Number of pages3
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing

Cite this

Labayen, I., Ruiz, J. R., Vicente-Rodríguez, G., Turck, D., Rodríguez, G., Meirhaeghe, A., Molnár, D., Sjöström, M., Castillo, M. J., Gottrand, F., & Moreno, L. A. (2009). Early life programming of abdominal adiposity in adolescents: The HELENA study. Diabetes care, 32(11), 2120-2122. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc09-0983