Possible association between low birth weight and later heart disease needs to be investigated further

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7139.1247 (Published 18 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1247
  1. Mai Stafford, Statistician,
  2. Alan Lucas, Director
  1. Medical Research Council Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH

    EDITOR—Barker and Osmond say that the association between birth weight and adult disease relates to growth retardation in early life.1 Alternatively, babies with a low birth weight might consume a diet that is associated with greater risk of disease. Firstly, low birth weight might affect appetite and preference for certain foods. Secondly, parents might feed their babies foods with a higher energy or fat content in order to compensate for their low birth weight. Patterns of nutrient intake may be established from 3 years of age,4 so if birth weight were associated with childhood diet the cumulative effect …

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