Body composition and growth in full-term small for gestational age and large for gestational age Swedish infants assessed with air displacement plethysmography at birth and at 3-4 months of age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Being born small for gestational age (SGA) or large for gestational age (LGA) has short and long term metabolic consequences. There is a growing interest in the extent to which body composition, both in the short and the long term, differs in infants born at the extremes of these birth weights. Methods Body composition in 25 SGA and 25 LGA infants were assessed during the first days of life and at 3–4 months of age using air displacement plethysmography. Results SGA infants had significantly lower body fat (%) at birth compared to LGA infants. SGA infants increased their body weight and length at a significantly higher rate between birth and 3–4 months than LGA infants. Fat mass (g) in SGA infants increased 23 times between birth and 3–4 months of age compared to 2.8 times for LGA infants. At 3–4 months of age LGA infants reached a threshold in body fat (%) while SGA infants were still gaining body fat (%). Conclusion Several significant differences have been identified between SGA and LGA infants, indicating that the effects of intrauterine life continues to play an important role in body composition and growth during the first 3–4 months of life.


  • Anna Larsson
  • Peter Ottosson
  • Caroline Törnqvist
  • Elisabeth Olhager
External organisations
  • Linköping University
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0207978
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 15
Publication categoryResearch