Effect of early stunting on body cell mass and fat mass in term appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants

Early growth faltering in infants, with a steep decline in linear growth from birth to 2 years of life, is a matter of serious concern, especially in low and middle income countries. Early stunting has shown to lead to increased adiposity in adolescence and adulthood, thus increasing risk for obesity and metabolic diseases. However, little is known about the changes that occur in body composition as the infant experiences linear growth faltering. This is important in a South-Asian setting, where the concept of ‘thin fat’ or ‘thrifty’ phenotype is often debated as being central to the raising epidemic of non-communicable diseases. Therefore, the primary goal of this study is to compare the body cell mass accretion and body fat of term appropriate for gestational age infants in both sexes, among those with and without growth faltering during first year of life and to assess exposures, such as non-compliance to exclusive breastfeeding, and the quality and quantity of complementary foods.