[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have shown that weaker grip strength in later life is associated with disability, morbidity, and mortality. Grip strength is a key component of the sarcopenia and frailty phenotypes and yet it is unclear how individual measurements should be interpreted. Our objective was to produce cross-sectional centile values for grip strength across the life course. A secondary objective was to examine the impact of different aspects of measurement protocol.
We combined 60,803 observations from 49,964 participants (26,687 female) of 12 general population studies in Great Britain. We produced centile curves for ages 4 to 90 and investigated the prevalence of weak grip, defined as strength at least 2.5 SDs below the gender-specific peak mean. We carried out a series of sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of dynamometer type and measurement position (seated or standing).
Our results suggested three overall periods: an increase to peak in early adult life, maintenance through to midlife, and decline from midlife onwards. Males were on average stronger than females from adolescence onwards: males' peak median grip was 51 kg between ages 29 and 39, compared to 31 kg in females between ages 26 and 42. Weak grip strength, defined as strength at least 2.5 SDs below the gender-specific peak mean, increased sharply with age, reaching a prevalence of 23% in males and 27% in females by age 80. Sensitivity analyses suggested our findings were robust to differences in dynamometer type and measurement position.
This is the first study to provide normative data for grip strength across the life course. These centile values have the potential to inform the clinical assessment of grip strength which is recognised as an important part of the identification of people with sarcopenia and frailty.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e113637. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that maternal psychological profiles relate to children's quality of diet.
Cross-sectional study. Mothers provided information on their health-related psychological factors and aspects of their child's mealtime environment. Children's diet quality was assessed using an FFQ from which weekly intakes of foods and a diet Z-score were calculated. A high score described children with a better quality diet. Cluster analysis was performed to assess grouping of mothers based on psychological factors. Mealtime characteristics, describing how often children ate while sitting at a table or in front of the television, their frequency of takeaway food consumption, maternal covert control and food security, and children's quality of diet were examined, according to mothers' cluster membership.
Mother-child pairs (n 324) in the Southampton Initiative for Health. Children were aged 2-5 years.
Two main clusters were identified. Mothers in cluster 1 had significantly higher scores for all psychological factors than mothers in cluster 2 (all P<0·001). Clusters were termed 'more resilient' and 'less resilient', respectively. Children of mothers in the less resilient cluster ate meals sitting at a table less often (P=0·03) and watched more television (P=0·01). These children had significantly poorer-quality diets (β=-0·61, 95 % CI -0·82, -0·40, P≤0·001). This association was attenuated, but remained significant after controlling for confounding factors that included maternal education and home/mealtime characteristics (P=0·006).
The study suggests that mothers should be offered psychological support as part of interventions to improve children's quality of diet.
Public Health Nutrition 11/2014; · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The UK government's response to the obesity epidemic calls for action in communities to improve people's health behaviour. This study evaluated the effects of a community intervention on dietary quality and levels of physical activity of women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
BMJ Open 07/2014; 4(7):e005290. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal hyperglycemia in pregnancy is associated with greater adiposity in offspring. The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) describe the glycemic response to carbohydrate ingestion. However, the influence of maternal dietary GI and GL in pregnancy on childhood adiposity is unknown.OBJECTIVE: We examined relations of maternal dietary GI and GL in early and late pregnancy with offspring body composition.DESIGN: A total of 906 mother-child pairs from the prospective cohort the Southampton Women's Survey were included. Children underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements of body composition at birth and 4 and 6 y of age. Log-transformed fat mass and lean mass were standardized with a mean (±SD) of 0 ± 1. Maternal dietary GI and GL were assessed at 11 and 34 wk of gestation by using an administered food-frequency questionnaire.RESULTS: After controlling for potential confounders, both maternal dietary GI and GL in early pregnancy were positively associated with fat mass at 4 and 6 y of age [fat mass SDs per 10-unit GI increase: β = 0.43 (95% CI: 0.06, 0.80), P = 0.02 at 4 y of age; β = 0.40 (95% CI: 0.10, 0.70), P = 0.01 at 6 y of age; fat mass SDs per 50-unit GL increase: β = 0.43 (95% CI: 0.19, 0.67), P < 0.001 at 4 y of age, β = 0.27 (95% CI: 0.07, 0.47), P = 0.007 at 6 y of age]. In contrast, there were no associations between maternal dietary GI or GL in late pregnancy and offspring fat mass at these ages. Maternal dietary GI and GL were not associated with fat mass at birth or offspring lean mass at any of the ages studied.CONCLUSION: Higher maternal dietary GI and GL in early pregnancy are associated with greater adiposity in childhood.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 06/2014; · 6.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The consumer nutrition environment has been conceptualised as in-store environmental factors that influence food shopping habits. More healthful in-store environments could be characterised as those which promote healthful food choices such as selling good quality healthy foods or placing them in prominent locations to prompt purchasing. Research measuring the full-range of in-store environmental factors concurrently is limited.Purpose: To develop a summary score of 'healthfulness' composed of nine in-store factors that influence food shopping behaviour, and to assess this score by store type and neighbourhood deprivation.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 05/2014; 11(1):69. · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic cardiorespiratory disease is associated with low birthweight suggesting the importance of the developmental environment. Prenatal factors affecting fetal growth are believed important, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. The influence of developmental programming on bronchial hyperreactivity is investigated in an animal model and evidence for comparable associations is sought in humans. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed either control or protein-restricted diets throughout pregnancy. Bronchoconstrictor responses were recorded from offspring bronchial segments. Morphometric analysis of paraffin-embedded lung sections was conducted. In a human mother-child cohort ultrasound measurements of fetal growth were related to bronchial hyperreactivity, measured at age six years using methacholine. Protein-restricted rats' offspring demonstrated greater bronchoconstriction than controls. Airway structure was not altered. Children with lesser abdominal circumference growth during 11-19 weeks' gestation had greater bronchial hyperreactivity than those with more rapid abdominal growth. Imbalanced maternal nutrition during pregnancy results in offspring bronchial hyperreactivity. Prenatal environmental influences might play a comparable role in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine adherence to nutritional guidelines by pregnant women in New Zealand and maternal characteristics associated with adherence.
A cohort of the pregnant women enrolled into New Zealand's new birth cohort study, Growing Up in New Zealand.
Women residing within a North Island region of New Zealand, where one-third of the national population lives.
Pregnant women (n 5664) were interviewed during 2009-2010. An FFQ was administered during the face-to-face interview.
The recommended daily number of servings of vegetables and fruit (≥6) were met by 25 % of the women; of breads and cereals (≥6) by 26 %; of milk and milk products (≥3) by 58 %; and of lean meat, meat alternatives and eggs (≥2) by 21 %. One in four women did not meet the recommendations for any food group. Only 3 % met all four food group recommendations. Although adherence to recommendation for the vegetables/fruit group did not vary by ethnicity (P=0·38), it did vary for the breads/cereals, milk/milk products and meat/eggs groups (all P<0·001). Adherence to recommendations for the vegetables/fruit group was higher among older women (P=0·001); for the breads/cereals group was higher for women with previous children (P<0·001) and from lower-income households (P<0·001); and for the meat/eggs group was higher for women with previous children (P=0·003) and from lower-income households (P=0·004).
Most pregnant women in New Zealand do not adhere to nutritional guidelines in pregnancy, with only 3 % meeting the recommendations for all four food groups. Adherence varies more so with ethnicity than with other sociodemographic characteristics.
Public Health Nutrition 04/2014; · 2.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 148 health and social care practitioners were trained in skills to support behaviour change: creating opportunities to discuss health behaviours, using open discovery questions, listening, reflecting and goal-setting. At three time points post-training, use of the skills was evaluated and compared with use of skills by untrained practitioners. Trained practitioners demonstrated significantly greater use of these client-centred skills to support behaviour change compared to their untrained peers up to 1 year post-training. Because it uses existing services to deliver support for behaviour change, this training intervention has the potential to improve public health at relatively low cost.
Journal of Health Psychology 04/2014; · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the association between objectively measured maternal and preschool-aged children's physical activity, determine how this association differs by demographic and temporal factors, and identify factors associated with maternal activity levels.
In the UK Southampton Women's Survey, physical activity levels of 554 4-year-olds and their mothers were measured concurrently by using accelerometry for ≤7 days. Two-level mixed-effects linear regression was used to model the association between maternal and children's minutes spent sedentary, in light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Linear regression was used to investigate correlates of maternal activity.
Mother-child daily activity levels were positively associated at all activity intensities (sedentary, LPA, and MVPA; all P < .001). The association for sedentary time was stronger for normal-weight children (versus those who were overweight/obese), and those attending preschool part-time (versus full-time). The mother-child association for LPA differed by maternal education and was stronger at the weekend (versus weekdays). The opposite was true for MVPA. Sedentary time and MVPA were most strongly associated in mornings, with LPA most strongly associated in the evenings. Maternal BMI, age leaving school, number and age of children at home, and working hours were independently associated with maternal daily sedentary time and LPA.
Physical activity levels in mothers and their 4-year-old children are directly associated, with associations at different activity intensities influenced by temporal and demographic factors. Influences on maternal physical activity levels also differ by activity intensity. Providing targeted interventions for mothers of young children may increase both groups' activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preterm birth, low birth weight, and infant catch-up growth seem associated with an increased risk of respiratory diseases in later life, but individual studies showed conflicting results.
We performed an individual participant data meta-analysis for 147,252 children of 31 birth cohort studies to determine the associations of birth and infant growth characteristics with the risks of preschool wheezing (1-4 years) and school-age asthma (5-10 years).
First, we performed an adjusted 1-stage random-effect meta-analysis to assess the combined associations of gestational age, birth weight, and infant weight gain with childhood asthma. Second, we performed an adjusted 2-stage random-effect meta-analysis to assess the associations of preterm birth (gestational age <37 weeks) and low birth weight (<2500 g) with childhood asthma outcomes.
Younger gestational age at birth and higher infant weight gain were independently associated with higher risks of preschool wheezing and school-age asthma (P < .05). The inverse associations of birth weight with childhood asthma were explained by gestational age at birth. Compared with term-born children with normal infant weight gain, we observed the highest risks of school-age asthma in children born preterm with high infant weight gain (odds ratio [OR], 4.47; 95% CI, 2.58-7.76). Preterm birth was positively associated with an increased risk of preschool wheezing (pooled odds ratio [pOR], 1.34; 95% CI, 1.25-1.43) and school-age asthma (pOR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.18-1.67) independent of birth weight. Weaker effect estimates were observed for the associations of low birth weight adjusted for gestational age at birth with preschool wheezing (pOR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.00-1.21) and school-age asthma (pOR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01-1.27).
Younger gestational age at birth and higher infant weight gain were associated with childhood asthma outcomes. The associations of lower birth weight with childhood asthma were largely explained by gestational age at birth.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 02/2014; · 12.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about preschool-aged children's levels of physical activity (PA) over the course of the day. Using time-stamped data, we describe the levels and patterns of PA in a population-based sample of four-year-old British children.
Within the Southampton Women's Survey the PA levels of 593 4-year-old children (51% female) were measured using (Actiheart) accelerometry for up to 7 days. Three outcome measures: minutes spent sedentary (<20 cpm); in light (LPA:>20 - 399 cpm) and in moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA:>400 cpm) were derived. Average daily activity levels were calculated and then segmented across the day (morning, afternoon and evening). MVPA was log-transformed. Two-level random intercept models were used to analyse associations between activity level and temporal and demographic factors.
Children were active for 67% (mean 568.5 SD 79.5 minutes) of their daily registered time on average, with 88% of active time spent in LPA. All children met current UK guidelines of 180 minutes of daily activity. There were no differences in children's average daily levels of sedentary activity and LPA by temporal and demographic factors: differences did emerge when activity was segmented across the day. Sex differences were largest in the morning, with girls being more sedentary, spending fewer minutes in LPA and 18% less time in MVPA than boys. Children were more sedentary and less active (LPA and MVPA) in the morning if they attended childcare full-time compared to part-time, and on weekend mornings compared to weekdays. The reverse was true for weekend afternoons and evenings. Children with more educated mothers were less active in the evenings. Children were less sedentary and did more MVPA on summer evenings compared to winter evenings.
Preschool-aged children meet current physical activity guidelines, but with the majority of their active time spent in LPA, investigation of the importance of activity intensity in younger children is needed. Activity levels over the day differed by demographic and temporal factors, highlighting the need to consider temporality in future interventions. Increasing girls' morning activity and providing opportunities for daytime activity in winter months may be worthwhile.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 01/2014; 11(1):1. · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Across Europe, poor health behaviours are associated with increased risks of non-communicable diseases. There is particular concern about young women, children and families, not least as health behaviours operating before and during pregnancy and in early postnatal life may have profound long-term consequences for children's health. Using findings drawn from 7 European countries, we aimed to identify barriers to the implementation and uptake of dietary and physical activity recommendations, and to consider how best to achieve changes in mothers' behaviours and thereby improve the adoption of health recommendations. Six studies across the 7 countries were used for this narrative synthesis of findings. Key Messages: A woman's education has a strong influence on her own and her children's health behaviours. Women's diets vary across ethnic groups and according to number of children, but psychological factors, such as self-efficacy and sense of control, which may be amenable to modification, are powerful, too, particularly in women with lower educational attainment. Maternal influences on children's behaviours are strong. Differences exist in infant feeding across countries, and there are apparent urban/rural differences in children's diets and physical activity.
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 01/2014; 64(3-4):332-9. · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fish is a rich source of essential nutrients for fetal development, but in contrast, it is also a well-known route of exposure to environmental pollutants.
We assessed whether fish intake during pregnancy is associated with fetal growth and the length of gestation in a panel of European birth cohort studies.
The study sample of 151,880 mother-child pairs was derived from 19 population-based European birth cohort studies. Individual data from cohorts were pooled and harmonized. Adjusted cohort-specific effect estimates were combined by using a random- and fixed-effects meta-analysis.
Women who ate fish >1 time/wk during pregnancy had lower risk of preterm birth than did women who rarely ate fish (≤1 time/wk); the adjusted RR of fish intake >1 but <3 times/wk was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.82, 0.92), and for intake ≥3 times/wk, the adjusted RR was 0.89 (95% CI: 0.84, 0.96). Women with a higher intake of fish during pregnancy gave birth to neonates with a higher birth weight by 8.9 g (95% CI: 3.3, 14.6 g) for >1 but <3 times/wk and 15.2 g (95% CI: 8.9, 21.5 g) for ≥3 times/wk independent of gestational age. The association was greater in smokers and in overweight or obese women. Findings were consistent across cohorts.
This large, international study indicates that moderate fish intake during pregnancy is associated with lower risk of preterm birth and a small but significant increase in birth weight.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 12/2013; · 6.50 Impact Factor