Gut Microbiota and Body Weight in School-Aged Children: The KOALA Birth Cohort Study

Catherine A. Mbakwa, Gerben D. A. Hermes, John Penders, Paul H. M. Savelkoul, Carel Thijs, Pieter C. Dagnelie, Monique Mommers, Erwin G. Zoetendal, Hauke Smidt, Ilja C. W. Arts

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study aimed to examine the intestinal microbiota composition of school-aged children in association with (over)weight. Methods: The fecal microbiota composition of 295 children was analyzed using the Human Intestinal Tract Chip. Anthropometric outcomes (overweight [BMI ≥ 85th percentile], age- and sex-standardized BMI and weight z scores) were measured at 6 to 7 years of age, and elastic net was used to select genus-like bacterial groups related to all anthropometric outcomes. Subsequently, multiple linear and logistic regression models were used to model associations between selected bacterial groups and anthropometric measures while controlling for confounders. Results: Prevotella melaninogenica, Prevotella oralis, Dialister, and uncultured Clostridiales II (UCII) accounted for 26.1% of the variation in microbiota composition. Several bacterial groups were inversely associated with the anthropometric outcomes: Sutterella wadsworthensis, Marvinbryantia formatexigens, Prevotella melanogenica, P oralis, Burkholderia, uncultured Clostridiales II, and Akkermansia, while Streptococcus bovis was positively associated with overweight. Microbial diversity and richness, and Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes ratio, were not significantly associated with any of the outcomes. Conclusions: In the largest population-based study on childhood gut microbiota and body weight so far, both new and previously identified bacterial groups were found to be associated with overweight. Further research should elucidate their role in energy metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767-1776
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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