Nutrient trajectories during infancy and their associations with childhood neurodevelopment

Jia Ying Toh, Shirong Cai, Shan Xuan Lim, Wei Wei Pang, Keith M. Godfrey, Lynette P. Shek, Kok Hian Tan, Fabian Yap, Yung Seng Lee, Yap-Seng Chong, Johan G. Eriksson, Birit F. P. Broekman, Anne Rifkin‑Graboi, Mary F. F. Chong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To examine the associations between infants’ dietary nutrient trajectories and subsequent neurodevelopment during childhood in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes study. Methods: One-day food records were collected at ages 6, 9 and 12 months, whilst Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III and Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test-2 were conducted at ages 24 and 54 months respectively. Nutrient trajectories were constructed using multi-level mixed modelling and associations with neurodevelopment (24 months: n = 484; 54 months: n = 444) were examined using adjusted multivariable linear regression. Results: At age 24 months, higher protein intake (at 6 months) and increasing rate of intake (from 6 to 12 months) were associated with higher fine motor score [β = 0.17 SD (95% CI 0.03, 0.31) and 0.62 SD (0.10, 1.14) respectively]. Higher fat intake was associated with higher receptive language score [0.04 SD (0.003, 0.07)], but increasing rate of intake was associated with lower expressive language [− 0.20 SD (− 0.39, − 0.01)] and fine motor [− 0.29 SD (− 0.48, − 0.10)] scores. Higher carbohydrate intake was associated with lower gross motor score [− 0.07 SD (− 0.14, − 0.005)], but increasing rate of intake was associated with higher receptive language [0.44 SD (0.08, 0.81)] and fine motor [0.56 SD (0.18, 0.93)] scores. Increasing rate of dietary fibre intake was associated with higher fine motor scores [0.63 SD (0.16, 1.10)]. No significant associations were observed with neurodevelopment at 54 months. Conclusion: Our findings provide greater understanding of how nutrition over time could have varying effects on child neurodevelopment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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