Childhood cognitive ability and body composition in adulthood.
Sommaire de l'article
Childhood cognitive ability has been identified as a novel risk factor for adulthood overweight and obesity as assessed by adult body mass index (BMI). BMI does not, however, distinguish fat-free and metabolically harmful fat tissue. Hence, we examined the associations between childhood cognitive abilities and body fat percentage (BF%) in young adulthood.
Participants of the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study (n=816) underwent tests of general reasoning, visuomotor integration, verbal competence and language comprehension (M=100; s.d.=15) at the age of 56 months. At the age of 25 years, they underwent a clinical examination, including measurements of BF% by the InBody 3.0 eight-polar tactile electrode system, weight and height from which BMI (kg m(-2)) was calculated and waist circumference (cm).
After adjustments for sex, age and BMI-for-age s.d. score at 56 months, lower general reasoning and visuomotor integration in childhood predicted higher BMI (kg m(-2)) increase per s.d. unit decrease in cognitive ability (-0.32, 95% confidence interval -0.60,-0.05; -0.45, -0.75,-0.14, respectively) and waist circumference (cm) increase per s.d. unit decrease in cognitive ability (-0.84, -1.56,-0.11; -1.07,-1.88,-0.26, respectively) in adulthood. In addition, lower visuomotor integration predicted higher BF% per s.d. unit decrease in cognitive ability (-0.62,-1.14,-0.09). Associations between general reasoning and BMI/waist were attenuated when adjusted for smoking, alcohol consumption, intake of fruits and vegetables and physical activity in adulthood, and all associations, except for visuomotor integration and BMI, were attenuated when adjusted for parental and/or own attained education and/or birth weight.
Of the measured childhood cognitive abilities, only lower visuomotor integration was associated with BF% in adulthood. This challenges the view that cognitive ability, at least when measured in early childhood, poses a risk for adiposity in adulthood, as characterized by higher BF%.