The associations between diet and socioeconomic disparities and the intestinal microbiome in preadolescence

Yelena Lapidot*, Leah Reshef, Rebecca Goldsmith, Wasef Na’amnih, Eias Kassem, Asher Ornoy, Uri Gophna, Khitam Muhsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The intestinal microbiome continues to shift and develop throughout youth and could play a pivotal role in health and wellbeing throughout adulthood. Environmental and interpersonal determinants are strong mediators of the intestinal microbiome during the rapid growth period of preadolescence. We aim to delineate associations between the gut microbiome composition, body mass index (BMI), dietary intake and socioeconomic status (SES) in a cohort of ethnically homogenous preadolescents. This cohort included 139 Arab children aged 10–12 years, from varying socioeconomic strata. Dietary intake was assessed using the 24-h recall method. The intestinal microbiome was analyzed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Microbial composition was associated with SES, showing an overrepresentation of Prevotella and Eubacterium in children with lower SES. Higher BMI was associated with lower microbial diversity and altered taxonomic composition, including higher levels of Collinsella, especially among participants from lower SES. Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids was the strongest predictor of bacterial alterations, including an independent association with Lachnobacterium and Lactobacillus. This study demonstrates that the intestinal microbiome in preadolescents is associated with socioeconomic determinants, BMI and dietary intake, specifically with higher consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, tailored interventions during these crucial years have the potential to improve health disparities throughout the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2645
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation2614/19
Tel Aviv University
Ministry of Health, State of Israel3-00000-12789


    • Dietary intake
    • Microbiome
    • Obesity
    • School age
    • Socioeconomic status


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