Endocrine and Metabolic Biomarkers Predicting Early Childhood Obesity Risk

Piotr Socha, Christian Hellmuth, Dariusz Gruszfeld, Hans Demmelmair, Peter Rzehak, Veit Grote, Martina Weber, Joaquin Escribano, Ricardo Closa-Monasterolo, Elena Dain, Jean Paul Langhendries, Enrica Riva, Elvira Verduci, Berthold Koletzko, Philippe Goyens, Clotilde Carlier, Pascale Poncelet, Joana Hoyos, Françoise Martin, Annick XhonneuxJean Noel Van Hees, Veronica Luque, Georgina Mendez, Natalia Ferre, Marta Zaragoza-Jordana, Marcello Giovannini, Carlo Agostoni, Silvia Scaglioni, Fiammetta Vecchi, Alice Re Dionigi, Jerzy Socha, Anna Dobrzanska, Anna Stolarczyk, Agnieszka Kowalik, Roman Janas, Ewa Pietraszek, Emmanuel Perrin, Helfried Groebe, Anna Reith, Renate Hofmann, Sonia Schiess, Jeannette Beyer, Michaela Fritsch, Uschi Handel, Ingrid Pawellek, Sabine Verwied-Jorky, Iris Hannibal, Gudrun Haile, Wolfgang Peissner, Ulrike Harder, Franca F. Kirchberg, Melissa Theurich, Olaf Uhl, Rüdiger Von Kries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is growing evidence of long-term effects of early dietary intervention in infancy on later obesity risk. Many studies showed reduced risk of obesity with breastfeeding in infancy, which could be related to the reduced protein intake with human milk compared to infant formula. In a randomized controlled trial (Childhood Obesity Project), we were able to show that infant formula with reduced protein content results in lower BMI both at 2 and 6 years. These effects seem to be mediated mainly by branched-chain amino acids which stimulate the insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 axis and insulin release. In this trial, we also showed an influence of high-protein diet on larger kidney size, which seems to be partly explained by a significant effect of free IGF-1 on kidney volume. The IGF-1 axis was shown to regulate early growth, adipose tissue differentiation and early adipogenesis in animals and in humans. Leptin and adiponectin can also be regarded as important endocrine regulators of obesity. These markers were tested in observational studies. Leptin seems to be closely correlated with BMI but changes in adiponectin require further exploration. Still, there is a lack of good data or some results are contradictory to indicate the role of either leptin or adiponectin in infancy for determining later obesity risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalNestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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