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J Adolesc Health. 2008 May;42(5):512-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.10.010. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

The association between body mass index in adolescence and obesity in adulthood.

Author information

  • 1Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA. lgw0@cdc.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979 to examine the association between body mass index (BMI) in adolescence and obesity in adulthood.

METHODS:

Measurements of height and weight from 1981 and 2002 were used to calculate BMI for a cohort of 1309 adolescents at baseline and during adulthood. Associations between BMI at age 16/17 and obesity (BMI > or =30) at age 37/38 were analyzed using logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS:

When the predicted probability of adult obesity equaled 0.5, the point on the adolescent BMI distribution was close to the 85th percentile for both sexes (83rd percentile for females and 86th percentile for males). Among adolescents with a BMI in the 85th-<95th percentile, 62% of the males and 73% of the females became obese adults. Among those with a BMI > or =95th percentile, 80% of the males and 92% of the females became obese adults. Versus those with a BMI <85th percentile, those with a BMI in the 85th-<95th percentile were more likely to be obese (odds ratio = 7 for males, 11 for females) as adults, and those with a BMI > or =95th percentile were most likely to be obese (odds ratio = 18 for males, 49 for females) as adults.

CONCLUSION:

Adolescents with a BMI > or =85th percentile are at elevated risk for obesity in adulthood. To prevent the development of obesity and its associated health risks, population-based efforts combined with targeted interventions for these high-risk adolescents are needed.

PMID:
18407047
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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