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Int J Obes. 1991 Jul;15(7):479-85.

Patterns of change in weight/stature2 from 2 to 18 years: findings from long-term serial data for children in the Fels longitudinal growth study.

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Department of Community Health, Wright State University School of Medicine, Yellow Springs, OH 45387.


Serial weight/stature2 (W/S2) data recorded semi-annually from 2 to 18 years in the Fels longitudinal study were analyzed to establish an approach for the investigation of long-term serial changes in body fatness during childhood and adolescence in individuals. To describe patterns of change in body fatness during childhood and adolescence, a family of mathematical models was fitted to individual serial W/S2 data recorded from 250 boys and 246 girls. The selected models fitted the W/S2 data well as judged by the root mean square errors. Based on the fitted models, variables representing patterns of change in an individual were derived. These included estimated value of W/S2 at 2 years of age (W/S(2)2yr), minimum value of W/S2 (W/S2min), age at minimum value of W/S2 (Amin), maximum velocity of W/S (Vmax), age at maximum velocity of W/S2 (AVmax), maximum value of W/S2 (W/S2max), and age at maximum value of W/S2 (Amax). There were highly significant correlations between observed W/S2 at 18 years and all the derived variables except AVmax indicating, for example, that in both sexes about 25 percent of the variation in W/S2 at 18 years could be explained by when Amin occurs or by the value of W/S2min. The negative correlations (r = -0.5) between Amin and W/S2 at 18 years suggested that the earlier children reach their nadir in W/S2, the earlier they began to increase in adiposity and the fatter they were at 18 years. Likewise, the positive correlations (r approximately 0.3 and 0.5, respectively) between the W/S(2)2yr or W/S2min and W/S2 at 18 years indicated that increased childhood adiposity may lead to increased adult adiposity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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