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Gut and oral microbiome perturbations have been observed in obese adults and adolescents. Less is known about how weight gain in early childhood is influenced by gut, and particularly oral, microbiomes. Here we analyze the relationships among weight gain and gut and oral microbiomes in 226 two-year-olds who were followed during the first two years of life, as part of a larger study, with weight and length measured at seven time points. We used these data to identify children with rapid weight gain (a strong risk factor for childhood obesity), and to derive growth curves with novel Functional Data Analysis (FDA) techniques. The children's oral and gut microbiomes were sampled at the end of the two-year period, and surveyed with 16S sequencing. First, we show that growth curves are associated negatively with diversity and positively with Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratio of the oral microbiome - a relationship that is also observed in children with rapid (vs. non-rapid) weight gain. We also demonstrate an association between the gut microbiome and child growth, but only when considering the effect of diet on the microbiome. Lastly, we identify several bacterial genera that are associated with child growth patterns. These results suggest that by the age of two, the oral microbiome may have already begun to establish patterns often seen in older obese individuals. They also suggest that the gut microbiome, while strongly influenced by diet, at age two does not harbor obesity signatures many researchers identified in later life stages.

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