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Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Apr;59(4):810-9.

The predictive value of childhood body mass index values for overweight at age 35 y.

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  • 1Department of Community Health, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.


Larger body mass index values (BMI in kg/m2) are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in adulthood and there are significant correlations between BMI values in childhood and in adulthood. The present study addresses the predictive value of childhood BMI for overweight at 35 +/- 5 y, defined as BMI > 28 for men and > 26 for women. Analyses of data for 555 white children indicated that overweight at 35 y can be predicted from BMI at younger ages. The prediction is excellent at age 18 y, good at 13 y, but only moderate at ages younger than 13 y. For 18-y-olds with a BMI value exceeding the 60th percentile, the odds of overweight at 35 y are 34% for men and 37% for women. A clinically applicable method is provided to assign an overweight child to a group with a known probability of high BMI values in adulthood.

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