The influence of diet and physical activity on bone density of children aged 5-7 years: The Belfast HAPO family study

Claire Casey, Bridie Kemp, Laura Cassidy, Chris Patterson, Mark Tully, Alyson J Hill, David McCance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Osteoporosis is a global health issue, and modifiable behavioural factors need to be identified in childhood to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of diet and physical activity on bone density of children aged 5–7 years participating in the Belfast Hyperglycaemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Family study.

Design and methods
Pregnant women were recruited to the Belfast centre of the HAPO study at 24–32 weeks gestation. Offspring were followed up at 5–7 years as part of the Belfast HAPO Family Study. Heel bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) were measured and calculated, respectively. Physical activity in the offspring was measured by accelerometery and dietary intakes were measured using a 4-day food diary.

Results
Results from 793 offspring were analysed. Mean age of the offspring ± standard deviation was 6.4 ± 0.5 years. A mean of 48.3 ± 22.4 min each day was spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Median (interquartile range) dietary calcium and vitamin D intakes were 844 (662–1073) mg/day and 1.7 (1.1–2.5) μg/day, respectively. Neither dietary vitamin D nor calcium intakes were significantly associated with offspring heel BMD or BMAD in multiple regression. However, controlling for confounders, a 30-min greater MVPA was associated with significantly larger heel BMD (0.018 g/cm2 in boys and 0.010 g/cm2 in girls) and BMAD (0.005 g/cm3 in boys and 0.003 g/cm3 in girls).

Conclusion
Physical activity was associated with better BMD and BMAD in 5–7-year-old children. Dietary calcium and vitamin D were not predictive of BMD and BMAD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116783
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages7
JournalBone
Volume172
Early online date28 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The HAPO study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases ( RO1-HD34242 and RO1-HD34243 ) and Diabetes UK ( RD04/0002756 ), which supported the enrolment and collection of data on participants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Bone health
  • Children
  • Nutrition
  • Osteoporosis
  • Physical activity
  • Public health

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