Article

Crossing Growth Percentiles in Infancy and Risk of Obesity in Childhood

Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
JAMA Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 4.25). 11/2011; 165(11):993-8. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.167
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine the associations of upward crossing of major percentiles in weight-for-length in the first 24 months of life with the prevalence of obesity at ages 5 and 10 years.
Longitudinal study.
Multisite clinical practice.
We included 44 622 children aged from 1 month to less than 11 years with 122 214 length/height and weight measurements from January 1, 1980, through December 31, 2008.
The number of major weight-for-length percentiles crossed during each of four 6-month intervals, that is, 1 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months, 12 to 18 months, and 18 to 24 months.
Odds and observed prevalence of obesity (body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared] ≥95th percentile) at ages 5 and 10 years.
Crossing upwards 2 or more weight-for-length percentiles was common in the first 6 months of life (43%) and less common during later age intervals. Crossing upwards 2 or more weight-for-length percentiles in the first 24 months was associated with elevated odds of obesity at ages 5 years (odds ratio, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.84-2.34) and 10 years (1.75; 1.53-2.00) compared with crossing less than 2 major percentiles. Obesity prevalence at ages 5 and 10 was highest among children who crossed upwards 2 or more weight-for-length percentiles in the first 6 months of life.
Crossing upwards 2 or more major weight-for-length percentiles in the first 24 months of life is associated with later obesity. Upward crossing of 2 weight-for-length percentiles in the first 6 months is associated with the highest prevalence of obesity 5 and 10 years later. Efforts to curb excess weight gain in infancy may be useful in preventing later obesity.

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