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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Bonny Specker


Background: Childhood obesity and overweight are a global health issue. The prevalence of this health issue is increasing. Consumption of high sugar diet that lack healthy nutrients is considered one the main causes of this problem. Childhood obesity is associated with many health problems. Objective: to investigate the association between sugar intake during the first year of life and the prevalence of obesity and sugar intake at 2 and 3 years of age
Method: The data used were obtained as part of a large randomized prospective trial which examined the influence of the timing of introduction of solid foods on infant growth and body composition. A total of 175 were recruited before 3 months of age, and only infants who were being formula fed were eligible. weight, length, and body composition by DXA were measured at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months of age; three-day diet records were completed at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months of age; and one-day records at 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 months of age.
Result: The intakes of different types of sugars and total sugar changed with age and differed between the early vs. late introduction of solid groups. The total sugar intake (with lactose) per kg at 12 months was associated with sugar intake (with and without lactose) at 2 (both, P<0.001) and 3 years of age (both, P=0.01), which remained significant after adjusting for total sugar intake at each age, gender and weaning group (P<0.001). Total sugar intake at 12 months of age had an inverse relationship with body fat percentage at 2 and 3 years of age (P=0.02, P=0.04). Total sugar intake without lactose at 12 months of age was related to total sugar intake with and without lactose at 2 years of age (both, P<0.001) and total sugar intake without lactose at 3 years of age (P=0.009).
Conclusion: Early high sugar intake at one year of age was associated with higher sugar intake and lower total body fat percentage, at 2 and 3 years of age.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Infants -- Nutrition
Sugar in the body
Body Mass Index


Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-35)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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