Association between adult stature and Energy expenditure in low-income women from northeastern Brazil

Fabiana Cristina Alves Albuquerque, Nassib Bezerra Bueno, Ana Paula Grotti Clemente, Eduardo Ferriolli, Telma Maria Menezes Toledo Florêncio, Daniel Hoffman, Ana Lydia Sawaya

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Perinatal undernutrition may lead to important metabolic adaptations in adult life, short stature being the most visible. The present study aimed to evaluate the association between stature and total energy expenditure of low-income women. Method: Women aged 19-45 years from low-income communities in Maceió-AL were recruited. A sample of 67 volunteers was selected and divided into either short stature (≤152.4 cm; n = 34) or non-short stature (≥158.7 cm; n = 33) group. Data on socioeconomic status, anthropometric variables, and hormonal profiles was collected. Total energy expenditure and body composition were assessed by the doubly labeled water technique with multiple points over 14 days. In addition, physical activity levels were measured with triaxial accelerometers and dietary intake data were collected using three 24-hour food records. Results: The mean subject age was 30.94 years. Women of short stature had lower body weight and lean body mass compared to non-short women, but there were no differences in thyroid hormone concentrations or daily energy intake between the two groups. Short-stature women showed lower total energy expenditure (P = 0.01) and a significantly higher physical activity level (P = 0.01) compared to non-short women. However, the difference in total energy expenditure was no longer significant after statistical adjustment for age, lean body mass, and triiodothyronine concentrations. Conclusion: Women with short stature present the same energy intake, but lower total energy expenditure than non-short women, even with a higher physical activity level, which suggests that they are more prone to weight gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0131891
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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