Infancy ‘Obesity’ no Predictor for Obesity in Childhood

August 10, 2018  Source: MDLinx 101

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Researchers headed by Charlotte M. Wright, MBBS, MSc, MD, professor, Community Child Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, wrote in Pediatric Obesity,“‘Obesity’ in infancy is not, in fact, an important risk factor for obesity in childhood,”

On the contrary, the majority of youngsters with high BMI/obesity in mid-childhood were not very heavy infants, the researchers discovered.

Dr. Wright and colleagues pooled data on around 2,500 children from three longitudinal growth studies to explore whether high weight in infancy foretells obesity in childhood. After adjusting for age and sex, the weighed infants were categorized as “overweight” or “obese”.

They observed that infants with more weight were five times more likely to have BMI ≥ 2 SD at 8 years of age. But, 64% of infants with increases in weight (≥ 1 SD) had a normal BMI at 8 years. In children with a BMI ≥ 2 SD at 8 years old, 50% had a BMI ≥ 2 SD for the first time at that age. Only 22% of 8-year-olds had a history of raised weight as infants.

In this study, raised weight in infancy (SD ≥ 1) was a significant risk factor for later overweight, and once a child had become overweight, this tended to persist, with three-quarters of those overweight at 8 years having been overweight earlier,” Dr. Wright and coauthors wrote. “However, we also found that over half the infants who were overweight had normal BMI by 8 years.”

Findings suggest that overweight infants usually stay overweight as children, however, infants with excessive BMIs seldom turn obese in childhood. “Thus, a high weight in infancy has a moderate positive predictive value for becoming overweight in mid-childhood, but not for becoming obese, and its sensitivity is very low,” the authors wrote.

By Ddu
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