Predicting obesity in early adulthood from childhood and parental obesity

Magarey, Anthea, Daniels, Lynne A., Boulton, T., & Cockington, Richard A. (2003) Predicting obesity in early adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 27(4), pp. 505-513.

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Objective: To determine the degree of tracking of adiposity from childhood to early adulthood, and the risk of overweight in early adulthood associated with overweight in childhood and parental weight status in a cohort of children born in the mid 1970s. Design: Longitudinal observational study. Subjects: Approximately 155 healthy boys and girls born in Adelaide, South Australia 1975-6 and their parents. Measurements: Height and weight of subjects at 2 years, annually from 4 to 8 years, biennially from 11 to 15 years and at 20 years, and of parents when subjects were aged 8 years. BMI of subjects converted to standard deviation scores and prevalence of overweight and obesity determined using worldwide definitions. Parents classified as overweight if BMI > 25kg/m2. Tracking estimated as Pearson correlation coefficient. Risk ratio used to describe the association between weight status at each age and parental weight status and weight status at 20 years and weight status at each earlier age, both unadjusted and adjusted for parental weight status. Results: The prevalence of overweight/obesity increased with age and was higher than that reported in international reference populations. Tracking of BMI was established from 6 years onwards to 20 years at r values > 0.6 suggesting that BMI from 6 years is a good indicator of later BMI. Tracking was stronger for shorter intervals and for those subjects with both parents overweight compared with those with only one or neither parent overweight. Weight status at an earlier age was a more important predictor of weight status at 20 years than parental weight status, and risk of overweight at 20 years increased further with increasing weight status of parents. Conclusion: Strategies for prevention of overweight and targeted interventions for prevention of the progression of overweight to obesity are urgently required in school aged children in order to stem the epidemic of overweight in the adult population.

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258 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 8882
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Body mass index, child to adult tracking, obesity, parent
DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802251
ISSN: 0307-0565
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Nature Publishing Group
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 07 Aug 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:19

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