Energy gain and energy gap in normal-weight children: longitudinal data of the KOPS.Obesity (Silver Spring) 2008; 16(4):777-83O
Population-based prevention of overweight needs evidence-based goals consistent with our present knowledge about energy gap (i.e., daily imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure resulting in overweight). Longitudinal data of normal-weight children (1,029 girls and 1,028 boys; Kiel Obesity Prevention Study, KOPS) were used to calculate energy gain (i.e., increase in fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM)) in normal-weight children staying normal weight (persistent children) or becoming overweight (incident children). Taking into account weight gain in proportion to height gain (normal development) energy gap was calculated from increases in FM and FFM exceeding normal development. Children were divided into two groups and were followed from age 6 to 10 (group A) and 10 to 14 years (group B). FM and FFM were measured. Medians of 4-year BMI- (kg/m(2))/weight changes (kg) were +1.8/+13.2 (A) and +3.0/+18.7 (B) in girls, and +1.6/+12.8 (A) and +2.6/21.7 (B) in boys. Corresponding data for FM/FFM (kg) were +3.1/+10.2 (A) and +5.1/12.7 (B) in girls, and +2.3/10.8 (A) and +3.0/18.6 (B) in boys. The 4-year-incidence of overweight (%) were 9.4 (A) and 5.4 (B) in girls, and 11.0 (A) and 3.8 (B) in boys, respectively. Mean energy gains (kcal/day) were 26.8 (A) and 46.4 (B) in girls, and 22.1 (A) and 32.5 (B) in boys. The 90th percentile of energy gap (kcal/day) in incident children were 58.1 (A) and 72.0 (B) in girls and 46.0 (A) and 53.2 (B) in boys. To prevent overweight in children energy gap should not exceed 46-72 kcal/day.