Risk factors for childhood overweight: A prospective study from birth to 9.5 years

Department of Pediatrics , Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
Journal of Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 3.79). 08/2004; 145(1):20-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.03.023
Source: PubMed


To ascertain risk factors for the development of overweight in children at 9.5 years of age.
This was a prospective study of 150 children from birth to 9.5 years of age, with assessment of multiple hypothesized risk factors drawn from research reports.
Five independent risk factors for childhood overweight were found. The strongest was parent overweight, which was mediated by child temperament. The remaining risk factors were low parent concerns about their child's thinness, persistent child tantrums over food, and less sleep time in childhood. Possible mechanisms by which each of these factors influence weight gain are outlined. Two different pathways to childhood overweight/obesity were found, depending on degree of parental overweight.
There is evidence of considerable interaction between parent and child characteristics in the development of overweight. Several of the identified risk factors are amenable to intervention possibly leading to the development of early prevention programs.

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    • "The relationship between sleep duration and growth outcomes has been primarily investigated in school-age children and not in younger age groups [3] [6] [7] [9] [10] [13]. In addition, earlier studies were performed in populations that are predominantly Caucasian, even though epidemiologic evidence indicates that sleep duration in children is shorter in East Asian countries [14] [15] [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Aim Short sleep duration is thought to be a factor contributing to increased body mass index (BMI) in both school-age children and adults. Our aim was to determine whether sleep duration associates with growth outcomes during the first two years of life. Study design Participants included 899 children enrolled in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) birth cohort study. Anthropometric data (weight and body length) and parental reports of sleep duration were collected at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months of age. A mixed-model analysis was used to evaluate the longitudinal association of BMI and body length with sleep duration. In subgroup analyses, effects of ethnicity (Chinese, Indian, and Malay) and short sleep at three months of age (≤12 h per day) were examined on subsequent growth measures. Results In the overall cohort, sleep duration was significantly associated with body length (β = 0.028, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.002–0.053, p = 0.033), but not BMI, after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Only in Malay children, shorter sleep was associated with a higher BMI (β = −0.042, 95% CI −0.071 to −0.012, p = 0.005) and shorter body length (β = 0.079, 95% CI 0.030–0.128, p = 0.002). In addition, shorter sleep was associated with a higher BMI and shorter body length in children who slept ≤12 h per day at three months of age. Conclusion The association between sleep duration and growth outcomes begins in infancy. The small but significant relationship between sleep and growth anthropometric measures in early life might be amplified in later childhood.
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    • "Obesity is characterized by excessive body fat (Flynn et al., 2006), and its development is associated with biological, genetic, and behavioral variables (Agras et al., 2004). The fast rate of increase in obesity over the last few decades has concerned health professionals (Wang and Dietz, 2002), as obesity is an important biological risk factor for the development of chronic diseases (CDs) (Falaschetti et al., 2010; Lawlor et al., 2010), associated with risk of low cardiorespiratory fitness (Artero et al., 2010; Dumith et al., 2010; Mak et al., 2010), increases the 'years of life lost', and hence public health care costs (Fontaine et al., 2003; Wang and Dietz, 2002). "
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    • "The causal development of childhood obesity is very complex (Agras, Hammer, McNicholas, & Kraemer, 2004; Kipping, Jago, & Lawlor, 2008; Snethen, Hewitt, & Goretzke, 2007). In this context, parental overweight in particular has been identified as a basic risk factor for childhood overweight (Agras et al., 2004; Kimbro, Brooks-Gunn, & McLanahan, 2007; Linabery et al., 2013). For example, if the child has an obese mother there is a 1.5 times higher probability of the child becoming overweight in the first three years of life compared to a child of a normal weight mother (Kimbro et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity has become a rising health problem, and because parental obesity is a basic risk factor for childhood obesity, biological factors have been especially considered in the complex etiology. Aspects of the family interaction, e.g., mother–child attachment, have not been the main focus. Our study tried to fill this gap by investigating whether there is a difference between children of obese and normal weight mothers in terms of mother–child attachment, and whether mother–child attachment predicts child’s weight, in a sample of 31 obese and 31 normal weight mothers with children aged 19 to 58 months. Mother–child attachment was measured with the Attachment Q-Set. We found that (1) children of obese mothers showed a lower quality of mother–child attachment than children of normal weight mothers, which indicates that they are less likely to use their mothers as a secure base; (2) the attachment quality predicted child`s BMI percentile; and (3) the mother–child attachment adds incremental validity to the prediction of child’s BMI beyond biological parameters (child’s BMI birth percentile, BMI of the parents) and mother’s relationship status. Implications of our findings are discussed.
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