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Neonatal anthropometry: thin–fat phenotype in fourth to fifth generation South Asian neonates in Surinam

Steijn, L. van, Karamali, N.S., Kanhai, H.H.H., Ariëns, G.A.M., Fall, C.H.D., Yajnik, C.S., Middelkoop, B.J.C., Tamsma, J.T.
International journal of obesity 2009 v.33 no.11 pp. 1326–1329
neonates, infant nutrition, anthropometric measurements, phenotype, nutrition-genotype interaction, Southeast Asians, maternal nutrition, nutritional status, mothers, geographical variation, infants, birth weight, immigrants, inheritance (genetics), India, Suriname, United Kingdom
We assessed whether the earlier described 'thin–fat phenotype' is present in Surinam South Asian babies of the fourth to fifth generation after migration from India. In this observational study we collected data from 39 South Asian term neonates and their mothers in Paramaribo, Surinam. We compared the following data with data from an earlier study in Southampton, UK (338 neonates) and in Pune, India (631 neonates): maternal body mass index, neonatal weight, length, head, mid-upper arm and abdominal circumferences and subscapular skinfold thickness. The mothers in Paramaribo were older than the Southampton mothers; their body mass index was comparable. Mean birth weight was 3159 g (Southampton: 3494 g; Pune: 2666 g). Compared with Southampton babies, the Paramaribo babies were smaller in nearly all body measurements, the smallest being abdominal circumference at the umbilicus level (s.d. score: -1.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): -2.07 to -1.16) and mid-upper arm circumference (s.d. score: -1.08; 95% CI: -1.46 to -0.69). In contrast, subscapular skinfold thickness was similar (s.d. score: +0.08; 95% CI: -0.24 to +0.55). Except for subscapular skinfold thickness and length, all neonatal measurements were intermediate between those from Southampton and Pune. The thin–fat phenotype is preserved in Surinam South Asian neonates of the fourth to fifth generation after migration from India.