The latest NorthPop study: Obesity at 18 months has nothing to do with baby food fruit pouches

There is no reason for excessive concern that 1.5-year-olds in Västerbotten eat baby food fruit pouches so often that they become overweight, says Ellen Lundkvist at the Department of Clinical Science and first author of the study. “The study confirms what we already know, that the mother’s BMI is the variable that is most strongly correlated with the baby’s BMI.” In addition, the study shows that mothers of children who are overweight at 18 months have a higher BMI than mothers of normal-weight children”.

Fruit pouches is a baby food product that is popular with both children and parents. However, some concerns have been raised that there is a risk that the sweet fruit pouches will lead to overconsumption, which in turn leads to overweight and obesity. The latest NorthPop study aimed to find out how much fruit pouches children get and if there is a link between fruit pouches and weight at 18 months of age.
Of 1499 NorthPop children, 23.5% received fruit pouches at least once a week at 18 months of age. These children did not have a higher BMI and were not overweight to a greater extent than children who got fruit pouches less often or not at all.

The study also examined whether there is a relationship between consumption of juice, soft drinks, fruit or milk cereal drink and overweight and obesity at 18 months.
In addition, the potential correlation between breastfeeding, the mother’s BMI or socioeconomic factors and obesity in children at 18 months was also investigated.

Within NorthPop, we have since 2016 so far followed more than 5,000 pregnant women in Västerbotten County. A total of 10,000 pregnant women in Västerbotten County will be included in the study. The women, their partners and their children will be followed until the children are of school age. NorthPop is expected to generate a significant amount of research results over the coming decades.

”We are proud that NorthPop can contribute new knowledge related to children’s health,” says Professor Magnus Domellöf, principal investigator of NorthPop.

The study on fruit pouches was published in the scientific journal Nutrients.

About the scientific publication
Fruit Pouch Consumption and Dietary Patterns Related to BMIz at 18 Months of Age Ellen Lundkvist, Elisabeth Stoltz Sjöström, Richard Lundberg, Sven-Arne Silfverdal, Christina E. West and Magnus Domellöf
DOI: 10.3390/nu13072265

Ellen Lundkvist, medical student & first author