We examined parental and early-life variables in order to identify risk factors for adulthood overweight and obesity in offspring. We report here on the longitudinal prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian children born between 1989 and 1991 and followed from birth to age 22.
Data were analysed on 1355 participants from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study, with anthropometry collected during pregnancy, at birth, one year and at three yearly intervals thereafter. Multivariate analyses and cross-sectional logistic regression quantified the timing and contribution of early-life risk factors for overweight and obesity in young-adulthood.
At five years of age 12.6% of children were overweight and 5.2% were obese. By early adulthood, the prevalence of obesity had increased to 12.8%, whilst overweight remained relatively stable at 14.2% (range from early childhood to adulthood 11-16%). Parental pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) was the strongest determinant of adult offspring BMI. Although rapid first year weight gain was associated with increased offspring BMI, the impact of first year weight-gain diminished over childhood, whilst the impact of parental BMI increased over time.
Parental pre-pregnancy BMI and rapid early-life weight gain predispose offspring to obesity in adulthood.
BMI; Raine cohort; early‐life
Adjusted male BMI z‐score trajectories based on early‐life risk factors. Unless otherwise stated, average male BMI trajectories with 95% confidence intervals based on offspring with a 3.5 kg birth weight and 6 kg weight gain in the first year of life, parental BMI of 22 kg m−2and maternal characteristics of a non‐smoker
Adjusted female BMI z‐score trajectories based on early‐life risk factors. Unless otherwise stated, average female BMI trajectories with 95% confidence intervals based on offspring with a 3.5 kg birth weight and 6 kg weight gain in the first year of life, parental BMI of 22 kg m−2and maternal characteristics of non‐smoker with a gestational weight gain of 6 kg by 18 weeks.