Impact of Dietary Trajectories on Obesity and Dental Caries in Preschool Children: Findings from the Healthy Smiles Healthy Kids Study
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This study examines the impact of longitudinal dietary trajectories on obesity and early childhood caries (ECC) in preschool children in Australia. Mother–infant dyads from the Healthy Smiles Healthy Kids study were interviewed at 4 and 8 months, and 1, 2, and 3 years of age. Children underwent anthropometric and oral health assessments between 3 and 4 years of age. Multivariable logistic regression and negative binomial regression analysis were performed for the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and the number of tooth surfaces with dental caries, respectively. The intake of core, discretionary, and sugary foods showed distinct quadratic (n = 3) trajectories with age. The prevalence of overweight or obesity was 10% (n = 72) and that of early childhood caries (ECC) was 33% (mean decayed, missing, and filled tooth surfaces (dmfs) score: 1.96). Children with the highest trajectories of discretionary foods intake were more likely to be overweight or obese (adjusted OR: 2.51, 95 %CI: 1.16–5.42). Continued breastfeeding beyond 12 months was associated with higher dmfs scores (adjusted IRR: 2.17, 95 %CI: 1.27–3.73). Highest socioeconomic disadvantage was the most significant determinant for overweight or obesity (adjusted OR: 2.86, 95 %CI: 1.11–7.34) and ECC (adjusted IRR: 2.71, 95 %CI: 1.48–4.97). Targeted health promotion interventions should be designed to prevent the incidence of two highly prevalent conditions in preschool children.
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