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Childhood overeating is associated with adverse cardiometabolic and inflammatory profiles in adolescence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Christopher Hübel, Moritz Herle, Diana L Santos Ferreira, Mohamed Abdulkadir, Rachel Bryant-Waugh, Ruth J F Loos, Cynthia M Bulik, Deborah A Lawlor, Nadia Micali

Original languageEnglish
Article number12478
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jun 2021
Accepted/In press7 May 2021
E-pub ahead of print14 Jun 2021
PublishedDec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work was specifically funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the Medical Research Foundation (Ref: MR/R004803/1). The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome (Grant Ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website. Dr Santos Ferreira and Prof Lawlor work in a Unit that receives funds from the University of Bristol and the UK Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00011/6). Prof Lawlor is a National Institute of Health Research Senior Investigator (NF-SI-0611-10196). Prof Bulik is supported by NIMH (R01MH120170; R01MH119084; R01MH118278; U01 MH109528); Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Distinguished Investigator Grant; Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, award: 538-2013-8864). Dr Hübel und Prof Bulik are supported by the Lundbeck Foundation (Grant No. R276-2018-4581). Prof Micali and Prof Bulik report funding from National Institute of Mental Health (R21 MH115397). Dr Herle is supported by a fellowship from the Medical Research Council UK (MR/T027843/1). No funding bodies had any role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. This publication is the work of the authors and Prof Micali will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s). Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Childhood eating behaviour contributes to the rise of obesity and related noncommunicable disease worldwide. However, we lack a deep understanding of biochemical alterations that can arise from aberrant eating behaviour. In this study, we prospectively associate longitudinal trajectories of childhood overeating, undereating, and fussy eating with metabolic markers at age 16 years to explore adolescent metabolic alterations related to specific eating patterns in the first 10 years of life. Data are from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 3104). We measure 158 metabolic markers with a high-throughput (1H) NMR metabolomics platform. Increasing childhood overeating is prospectively associated with an adverse cardiometabolic profile (i.e., hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipoproteinemia) in adolescence; whereas undereating and fussy eating are associated with lower concentrations of the amino acids glutamine and valine, suggesting a potential lack of micronutrients. Here, we show associations between early behavioural indicators of eating and metabolic markers.

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