Too Much Protein At 4 Years Old = Extra Pounds At 7 Years Old
Children who eat more protein at four years old have a higher body mass index (BMI) three years later.
Children who eat the most protein at the age of four are at risk of being overweight three years later. This is suggested by a Portuguese study of 2000 children published in the journal International Journal of Obesity.
Proteins participate in the construction of the organism. They are therefore indispensable to the growth of children. In food, they can be of animal origin (dairy products, meat, fish, eggs …) or vegetable (soy protein, quinoa, cereals, legumes …). If proteins are needed, are there quantities not to be exceeded?
In this study of the University of Porto, the researchers wanted to evaluate the association between protein intake and glycemic load at age four, and adiposity and insulin three years later. This study is part of the Generation XXI project (G21), which follows the growth and development of a cohort of children born in Portugal.
After adjusting the results for different parameters, researchers found that protein intake was associated with BMI in girls as well as boys: an excess of protein at age four resulted in a higher BMI At the age of seven. Since childhood obesity is a growing problem in the world, acting as soon as possible is paramount.
There were also differences between boys and girls. In boys, high protein intake was associated with higher fat mass and higher waist circumference. In addition, they were also linked to higher fasting insulin blood levels. Finally, the glycemic load of foods consumed at four years was associated with BMI and adiposity in boys at age seven.
The glycemic load assesses the impact of a food on blood sugar. In general, a diet with a high glycemic load increases the risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
In summary, not giving too much protein (eggs, sausage, meat in particular) to young children and ensuring the glycemic load of their diet could help prevent overweight and obesity.