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1.  Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with adiposity in the offspring: prospective observational study 
Objective
To determine the relationship between maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy and body composition in the offspring.
Design
Prospective mother-offspring cohort study.
Setting
Southampton, UK.
Participants
977 pregnant women whose serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration (25(OH)D) was measured in late pregnancy and their offspring, followed up within 3 weeks of birth, and at 4 and 6 years of age.
Main outcome measures
Offspring lean and fat mass assessed using Dual X-ray Absorptiometry.
Results
Median daily vitamin D intake (from food and supplements) in late pregnancy was 3.7μg/day (IQR 2.7 to 5.7). 22% of the women took vitamin D supplements in late pregnancy, but only 8.5% of the women complied with UK guidance to take 10μg per day. Median maternal serum 25(OH)D in late pregnancy was 62nmol/l (IQR 43-89); 35% of the women studied had values below 50 nmol/l. Lower vitamin D status was associated with lower fat mass in the offspring at birth, but with greater fat mass at 4 and 6 years. It was not associated with lean mass at any of the ages studied. The opposing associations seen between maternal 25(OH)D (SDs) and fat mass (SDs) in the offspring at birth and at 6 years were robust to adjustment for a range of confounding factors, including maternal BMI and weight gain in pregnancy (β (95% CI) 0.08 (0.02, 0.15) and −0.10 (−0.17, − 0.02 respectively). The key independent predictors of higher maternal vitamin D status were season of measurement and taking vitamin D in dietary supplements in late pregnancy.
Conclusion
These data suggest that insufficient maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy could result in programmed differences in offspring fat mass. The findings require replication but add to a growing evidence base for a role of vitamin D in the origins of adiposity.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.037473
PMCID: PMC4632192  PMID: 22623747
2.  Physical activity intensity, sedentary time, and body composition in preschoolers123 
Background
Detailed associations between physical activity (PA) subcomponents, sedentary time, and body composition in preschoolers remain unclear.
Objective
We examined the magnitude of associations between objectively measured PA subcomponents and sedentary time with body composition in 4-y-old children.
Design
We conducted a cross-sectional study in 398 preschool children recruited from the Southampton Women’s Survey. PA was measured by using accelerometry, and body composition was measured by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Associations between light physical activity, moderate physical activity (MPA), vigorous physical activity (VPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) intensity; sedentary time; and body composition were analyzed by using repeated-measures linear regression with adjustment for age, sex, birth weight, maternal education, maternal BMI, smoking during pregnancy, and sleep duration. Sedentary time and PA were also mutually adjusted for one another to determine whether they were independently related to adiposity.
Results
VPA was the only intensity of PA to exhibit strong inverse associations with both total adiposity [P < 0.001 for percentage of body fat and fat mass index (FMI)] and abdominal adiposity (P = 0.002 for trunk FMI). MVPA was inversely associated with total adiposity (P = 0.018 for percentage of body fat; P = 0.022 for FMI) but only because of the contribution of VPA, because MPA was unrelated to fatness (P ≥ 0.077). No associations were shown between the time spent sedentary and body composition (P ≥ 0.11).
Conclusions
In preschoolers, the time spent in VPA is strongly and independently associated with lower adiposity. In contrast, the time spent sedentary and in low-to-moderate–intensity PA was unrelated to adiposity. These results indicate that efforts to challenge pediatric obesity may benefit from prioritizing VPA.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.045088
PMCID: PMC3785144  PMID: 23553158
3.  Weight gain in pregnancy and childhood body composition: findings from the Southampton Women’s Survey 
Background
Intrauterine life may be a critical period for the programming of later obesity, but there is conflicting evidence about whether pregnancy weight gain is an important determinant of offspring adiposity.
Objective
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of pregnancy weight gain with neonatal and childhood body composition.
Design
The participants (n=948) were children born to women in the Southampton Women’s Survey who had dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry measurements of body composition at birth, 4 or 6 years. Pregnancy weight gain was derived from the mothers’ measured weights before pregnancy and at 34 weeks gestation, analyzed using 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) categories (inadequate, adequate or excessive), and as a continuous measure.
Results
Almost half (49%) the children were born to women who gained excessive weight in pregnancy. In comparison with children born to women with adequate weight gain, they had a greater fat mass in the neonatal period (0.17 SD (95% CI 0.02, 0.32), P=0.03), at 4 years (0.17 SD (0.00, 0.34), P=0.05) and at 6 years (0.30 SD (0.11, 0.49), P=0.002). Greater pregnancy weight gain, as a continuous measure, was associated with greater neonatal fat mass (0.10 SD per 5kg weight gain (0.04, 0.15), P=0.0004) and, weakly, with fat mass at 6 years (0.07 SD per 5kg (0.00, 0.14), P=0.05), but not at 4 years (0.02 SD per 5kg (−0.04, 0.08), P=0.55).
Conclusions
Appropriate pregnancy weight gain, as defined by 2009 IOM recommendations, is linked to lower levels of adiposity in the offspring.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29128
PMCID: PMC3091013  PMID: 20375187

Results 1-3 (3)