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Children's Nutrition Research Center - Faculty

Houston, Texas

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Children's Nutrition Research Center - Faculty
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Nancy Butte, Ph.D.

Nancy Butte, Ph.D.Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine


Research Interests

Childhood Obesity: Environmental and Genetic Determinants

Current research efforts focus on the environmental and genetic determinants of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is an increasing problem in the U.S. , especially among our minority children. Understanding the etiology of obesity is key to its treatment and prevention. Studies of the contribution of food intake, total energy expenditure, basal metabolic rate, substrate utilization, physical activity, and fitness on the development of obesity in children are underway. A genome scan on 1600 individuals enrolled in the VIVA LA FAMILIA study is targeted at the identification of genes that have a measurable effect on the expression of childhood obesity.

Previous research has focused on defining energy requirements of infants, children, and women during reproduction. In these studies energy requirements of infants and children were derived from rates of total energy expenditure and energy deposition. The energy needs of underweight, normal-weight and overweight reproductive women were estimated from rates of total energy expenditure and fat deposition/mobilization throughout pregnancy and lactation.

To achieve these research goals, methodologies have been developed and validated to measure energy expenditure and body composition of the populations of interest. These include room respiration calorimeters for use in children and infants and the doubly labeled water method.

Representative Publications

Butte NF, Puyau MR, Adolph AL, Vohra FA, Zakeri I. Physical activity in non-overweight and overweight Hispanic children and adolescents. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 39(8):1257-66, 2007.

Butte NF, Cai G, Cole SA, Wilson TA, Fisher JO, Zakeri IF, Ellis KJ, Comuzzie AG. Metabolic and behavioral predictors of weight gain in Hispanic children: the Viva la Familia Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 85(6):1478-85, 2007.

Butte NF, Christiansen E, Thorkid I, Sorensen A. Energy imbalance underlying the development of childhood obesity. Obesity. (In Press), 2007.

Fisher JO, Cai G, Jaramillo SJ, Cole SA, Comuzzie AG, Butte NF. Genetics of hyperphagic eating behavior and appetite-related hormones among Hispanic children. Obesity. 15(6):1484-95, 2007.

Voruganti VS, Goring HHH, Diego VP, Cai G, Mehta NR, Cole SA, Butte NF, Comuzzie AG. Genome wide scan on serum ghrelin detects linkage on chromosome 1p36 in Hispanic children: Results from the Viva La Familia Study. Ped Res. [Epub ahead of print], Jul 27, 2007.

Cai G, Cole SA, Haack K, Butte NF, Comuzzie AG. Bivariate linkage confirms genetic contribution to fetal origins of childhood growth and cardiovascular disease risk in Hispanic children. Hum Genet. [Epub ahead of print], May 8, 2007.

Butte NF, Garza C, de Onis M. Evaluation of the feasibility of international growth standards for school-aged children and adolescents. J Nutr. 137(1):153-7, 2007;

Quiros-Tejeira RE, Rivera CA, Ziba TT, Mehta N, Smith CW, Butte NF. Risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in Hispanic youth with BMI > or =95th percentile. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 44(2):228-36, Feb, 2007.

ButteNF, Garza C, de Onis M. Evaluation of the feasibility of international growth standards for school-aged children and adolescents. J Nutr. 137(1): 153-157, 2007.

Cai G, Cole SA, Butte N, Bacino C, Diego V, Tan K, Goring HH, O'Rahilly S, Farooqi IS, Comuzzie AG. A quantitative trait locus on chromosome 18q for physical activity and dietary intake in Hispanic children. Obesity (Silver Spring). Sep;14(9):1596-604, 2006.

Butte NF, Cai G, Cole SA, Comuzzie AG. Viva la Familia Study: genetic and environmental contributions to childhood obesity and its comorbidities in the Hispanic population. Am J Clin Nutr. 84(3):646-654, 2006.

Tejero ME, Cai G, Goring HH, Diego V, Cole SA, Bacino CA, Butte NF, Comuzzie AG. Linkage analysis of circulating levels of adiponectin in Hispanic children. Int J Obes. Aug 8; [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803436, 2006.

Zakeri I, Puyau MR, Adolph AL, Vohra FA, Butte NF. Normalization of energy expenditure data for differences in body mass or composition in children and adolescents. J Nutr. 136:1371-1376, 2006.

Butte NF, Comuzzie AG, Cole SA, Mehta NR, Cai G, Tejero M, Bastarrachea R, Smith EO. Quantitative genetic analysis of the metabolic syndrome In Hispanic children. Pediatr Res. 58:1243-1248, 2005.

Hunt CD, Butte NF, Johnson LK. Boron Concentrations in Milk from Mothers of Exclusively Breast-Fed Healthy Full-Term Infants Are Stable during the First Four Months of Lactation. J Nutr. 135(10):2383-2386, 2005.

Butte NF, King JC. Energy requirements during pregnancy and lactation. Public Health Nutr. 8(7A):1010-1027, 2005.

Butte NF. Energy requirements of infants. Public Health Nutr. 8(7A):953-967, 2005.

Butte NF, Comuzzie AG, Cai G, Cole SA, Mehta NR, Bacino CA. Genetic and environmental factors influencing fasting serum adiponectin in Hispanic children. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 90(7):4170-4176, 2005.

Treuth MS, Butte NF, Puyau M. Pregnancy-related changes in physical activity, fitness, and strength. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 37(5):832-837, 2005.

Puyau MR, Adolph AL, Vohra FA, Zakeri I, Butte NF. Prediction of activity energy expenditure using accelerometers in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36(9):1625-1631, 2004.

Butte NF, Wong WW, Treuth MS, Ellis KJ, O'Brian Smith E. Energy requirements during pregnancy based on total energy expenditure and energy deposition. Am J Clin Nutr. 79(6):1078-1087, 2004.

Brooks GA, Butte NF, Rand WM, Flatt JP, Caballero B. Chronicle of the Institute of Medicine physical activity recommendation: how a physical activity recommendation came to be among dietary recommendations. Am J Clin Nutr. 79(5):921S-930S, 2004.

Treuth MS, Sherwood NE, Baranowski T, Butte NF, Jacobs DR Jr, McClanahan B, Gao S, Rochon J, Zhou A, Robinson TN, Pruitt L, Haskell W, Obarzanek E. Physical activity self-report and accelerometry measures from the Girls health Enrichment Multi-site Studies. Prev Med. 38(Suppl):S43-S49, 2004.

Butte N, Cobb K, Dwyer J, Graney L, Heird W, Rickard K; American Dietetic Association; Gerber Products Company. The Start Healthy Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers. J Am Diet Assoc. 104(3):442-454, 2004.

Treuth MS, Butte NF, Adolph AL, Puyau MR. A longitudinal study of fitness and activity in girls predisposed to obesity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36(2):198-204, 2004.

Treuth MS, Butte NF, Sorkin JD. Predictors of body fat gain in nonobese girls with a familial predisposition to obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 78(6):1212-1218, 2003.

Butte NF, Ellis KJ, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM, Smith EO. Composition of gestational weight gain impacts maternal fat retention and infant birth weight. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 189(5):1423-1432, 2003.

Butte NF, Ellis KJ. Comment on "Obesity and the environment: where do we go from here?". Science. 301(5633):598, 2003.

Butte NF, Treuth MS, Mehta NR, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM, Smith EO. Energy requirements of women of reproductive age. Am J Clin Nutr. 77(3):630-638, 2003.

Treuth MS, Sherwood NE, Butte NF, McClanahan B, Obarzanek E, Zhou A, Ayers C, Adolph A, Jordan J, Jacobs DR, Rochon J. Validity and reliability of activity measures in African American girls for GEMS. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 35(3):532-539, 2003.

Treuth MS, Sunehag AL, Trautwein LM, Bier DM, Haymond MW, Butte NF. Metabolic adaptation to high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets in children and adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr. 77(2):479-489, 2003.

Butte NF, Ellis KJ, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM, Smith EO. Comment on "Obesity and the environment: where do we go from here?". Science 2003; 301:598.

Treuth MS, Butte NF, Ellis KJ, Martin LJ, Comuzzie AG. Familial resemblance in body composition in prepubertal girls and their biological parents. Am J Clin Nutr 2001; 74:529-533.

Butte NF, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM, Heinz CJ, Mehta NR, Smith EO. Energy requirements derived from total energy expenditure and energy deposition during the first 2 years of life. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 72:1558-1569.

Treuth MS, Butte NF, Wong WW. Effects of familial predisposition to obesity on energy expenditure in multiethnic, prepubertal girls. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71:893-900.

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