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Schneider's abstract scores in top 10 in TOS Special Interest Sections competition

November 6, 2015

”Associations of Neonatal Adiponectin and Leptin with Growth and Body Composition in African American Infants,” by Camille Schneider, MS, RD, graduate student trainee in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and PhD student in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, has scored in the top 10 abstracts submitted in the Clinical Management Section and the Pediatric Obesity Section (POS) of The Obesity Society (TOS) Abstract Competition. Ms. Schneider’s award was presented to her during ObesityWeek 2015, held November 2-6 in Los Angeles. In addition, the POS invited Ms. Schneider to present her poster during its section meeting on November 5.

Infants who are large at birth have greater risk for future obesity. Concentrations of leptin and adiponectin—hormones that are secreted from fat cells—are higher in infants with a larger birth weight and have been associated with body size in later childhood. However, less is known about the association of these hormones with fat mass specifically at birth and with change in fat mass during infancy. Further, there has been little previous research in African American infants, despite their greater long-term risk for obesity. In this study, the authors investigated whether concentrations of leptin and adiponectin in the umbilical cord were associated with body fat at birth and change in body fat during the first three months of life, in a cohort of African American infants. They found that infants with higher concentrations of adiponectin in the umbilical cord had more body fat at two weeks of age and tended to gain less fat across the first three months of life. Although they expected to find a similar pattern for leptin, it was not associated with body fat at birth or with change in body fat thereafter. Together, these findings suggest that cord blood adiponectin may be a marker for fetal growth and fat mass accrual. More work is needed in larger and more diverse cohorts, however, to fully explore the relationship between leptin and fat mass, and between both of these hormones and prospective body fat change across childhood.

Ms. Schneider earned her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012. That fall, she entered UAB’s combined RD/PhD program. She successfully completed the Dietetic Internship in June 2013 and passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians in September 2013 to become a Registered Dietitian. Continuing her PhD work at UAB, she explores research interests that include early life feeding and nutrition and how they associate with metabolic health and body composition.