Send to

Choose Destination
Soz Praventivmed. 2003;48(3):161-7.

Does overweight in infancy persist through the preschool years? An analysis of CDC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System data.

Author information

Maternal and Child Nutrition Branch, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, National Center for Chronic Disease, Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.



To determine whether overweight in infancy (0-11 months) and young childhood (12-35 months) persists through the preschool years.


Analysis of longitudinal surveillance data for 380 518 low-income children monitored in the U.S. Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System from birth to age 59 months. Overweight was defined as weight-for-height > or = 95th percentile. We determined the proportion of the children (overweight vs non-overweight) above or below the 95th percentile of weight-for-height at the later ages.


The relative risk (RR) for overweight among overweight infants (vs non-overweight infants) at 1, 2, 3 and 4 years old was 4.3, 3.5, 3.3, and 2.9, respectively. 62.5% of overweight 3-year-old was still overweight a year later, but only 4.1% non-overweight 3-year-old became overweight a year later (RR = 15.2). However, low birth weight children had the highest RR to remain overweight after they became overweight compared to normal and high birth weight children.


Overweight during infancy persists through the preschool years. Tracking of overweight appears to become stronger as children get older and is more pronounced among low birth weight children than normal or high birth weight children. Monitoring preschoolers' height and weight status should be a strategy for preventing of obesity in adolescence and adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center