To investigate the extent to which the impact of childhood disease and nutrition on adult outcomes can be captured by the more commonly-available data on height and lower leg length.
This study is designed to investigate the effects of nutrition and disease on child growth and adult health. Among the principal outcome variables to be investigated are insulin resistance and diabetes. The main input variables are birth weight, breastfeeding, and childhood nutrition and disease. We will use multilevel, multivariate models to investigate these relations. The rich longitudinal data available from the INCAP project in El Progreso, Guatemala will enable us to estimate directly the impact of childhood disease and nutrition on adult outcomes. We will be able to investigate the extent to which these relations can be captured by the more commonly-available data on height and lower leg length. Because childhood infectious diseases can impair organ function, we anticipate that the effects of infectious diseases will not be fully captured by height and leg length. The role of childhood nutrition may also not be fully captured by height since previous research has suggested that birth weight and growth velocity impact adult health. The availability of an experimental design while help clarify the relation between nutrition and adult health, since location with respect to treatment is exogenous with respect to household characteristics that might otherwise exert an influence on childhood nutrition and growth. Last, this project will investigate cohort differences in height and leg length and predict the ways in which the future disease burden will change in Guatemala.