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Publication - Miss Caroline Bull

    Childhood dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors in adolescence

    results from the ALSPAC cohort


    Bull, CJ & Northstone, K, 2016, ‘Childhood dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors in adolescence: results from the ALSPAC cohort’. Public Health Nutrition, vol 19., pp. 3369-3377


    Objective To investigate the prospective associations between dietary patterns in childhood and CVD risk in adolescence.

    Design Prospective cohort study. Exposures were dietary patterns at age 7, 10 and 13 years derived by cluster analysis. Outcomes were physiological and biochemical cardiovascular risk markers.

    Setting Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), UK.

    Subjects Children (n 2311, 44.1 % male) with complete data available.

    Results After adjustment for known confounders, we observed an association between being in the ‘Processed’ and ‘Packed lunch’ dietary pattern clusters at age 7 and BMI at age 17. Compared with the ‘healthy’ cluster, the OR (95 % CI) for being in the top 10 % for BMI was 1·60 (1·01, 2·55; P=0·05) for the ‘Processed’ cluster and 1·96 (1·22, 3·13; P=0·005) for the ‘Packed lunch’ cluster. However, no association was observed between BMI and dietary patterns at age 10 and 13. Longitudinal analyses showed that being in either the ‘Processed’ or ‘Packed lunch’ cluster at age 7 was associated with increased risk of being in the top 10 % for BMI regardless of subsequent cluster membership. No associations between other cardiovascular risk measures and dietary patterns were robust to adjustment for confounders.

    Conclusions We did not find any consistent evidence to support an association between dietary patterns in childhood and cardiovascular risk factors in adolescence, with the exception of BMI and dietary pattern at age 7 only. However, the importance of dietary intake in childhood upon health later in life requires further investigation and we would encourage the adoption of a healthy diet as early in life as possible.

    Full details in the University publications repository