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Identifying Prenatal and Postnatal Determinants of Infant Growth: A Structural Equation Modelling Based Cohort Analysis
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume: 18, Issue: 19, Start page: 10265
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The growth and maturation of infants reflect their overall health and nutritional status. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations of prenatal and early postnatal factors with infant growth (IG). A data-driven model was constructed by structural equation modelling to examine the rela...
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The growth and maturation of infants reflect their overall health and nutritional status. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations of prenatal and early postnatal factors with infant growth (IG). A data-driven model was constructed by structural equation modelling to examine the relationships between pre- and early postnatal environmental factors and IG at age 12 months. The IG was a latent variable created from infant weight and waist circumference. Data were obtained on 274 mother-child pairs during pregnancy and the postnatal periods. Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI emerged as an important predictor of IG with both direct and indirect (mediated through infant birth weight) effects. Infants who gained more weight from birth to 6 months and consumed starchy foods daily at age 12 months, were more likely to be larger by age 12 months. Infant physical activity (PA) levels also emerged as a determinant. The constructed model provided a reasonable fit ( (11) = 21.5, < 0.05; RMSEA = 0.07; CFI = 0.94; SRMR = 0.05) to the data with significant pathways for all examined variables. Promoting healthy weight amongst women of child bearing age is important in preventing childhood obesity, and increasing daily infant PA is as important as a healthy infant diet.
infant growth; structural equation modelling; pregnancy; public health; physical activity; paediatrics; obesity; postnatal development
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
This work was supported by Swansea University, Public Health Wales NHS Trust, and
Health and Care Research Wales; National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research
(NCPHWR) via Health and Care Research Wales (grant ref. CA02). This research was also supported
by the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health
Improvement (DECIPHer), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence via joint funding
(MR/KO232331/1) from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social
Research Council, Medical Research Council, the Welsh Government and the Wellcome Trust.