The following is a summary of “Body Composition and Physical Activity in Pediatric Intestinal Failure On and Off Parenteral Nutrition,” published in the October 2023 issue of Pediatrics by Yanchis, et al.
For a cross-sectional study, researchers sought to investigate the relationship between body composition (BC) and physical activity (PA) in children with intestinal failure (IF), encompassing those reliant on parenteral nutrition (PN) and those fully enterally fed. The specific objectives were to collect comprehensive data on PA and BC in the pediatric population, compare the findings to age- and sex-matched population norms, and assess the correlation between PA levels and BC parameters.
The study included 58 children with IF, with a mean age of 10.0 (SD 3.5) years, and comprised both males and females. PA levels were quantified using accelerometry, while BC was measured through dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Comparative analyses were conducted against age- and sex-matched population norms using t tests. Regression analysis was employed to elucidate the relationship between BC and PA.
Children with IF, regardless of whether they received PN or were fully enterally fed, exhibited significantly fewer steps per day compared to literature controls (P ≤ 0.001). Both patient groups demonstrated lower PA levels than literature controls (P < 0.001). Additionally, patients with IF displayed higher fat mass and lower fat-free mass compared to controls (P = 0.008). The analysis revealed a significant impact of PA on BC (r2 = 0.32, P < 0.001).
Children with IF, irrespective of their nutritional support, are susceptible to reduced PA and alterations in BC. The findings underscored the importance of incorporating PA assessments into ongoing rehabilitation and management strategies to optimize outcomes in the pediatric population.