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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011 Jun;6(2-2):e399-407. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2010.518238. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Changes in parental weight and smoking habits and offspring adiposity: data from the HUNT-study.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.



Adverse parental life-style habits are associated with offspring adiposity, but it is unclear how changes in these habits affect offspring adiposity. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess how parental change in body weight, smoking habits and levels of physical activity were associated with adiposity in their children.


The study population consisted of 3 681 adolescents and their parents from the Nord-Trøndelag-Health-Study (HUNT). The parents participated in the two first waves of HUNT (HUNT-1:1984-86, HUNT-2:1995-97), where information on anthropometry, smoking habits and physical activity were obtained. The adolescents participated in the Youth-Part of HUNT-2. We used logistic regression to calculate odds-ratios (ORs) for adolescent offspring overweight according to parental change in body-weight, smoking habits and physical activity, adjusting for these factors in both parents, as well as for socioeconomic status and adolescent age and sex.


Children of parents who changed weight from normal weight to overweight from HUNT-1 to HUNT-2 had higher OR for overweight in adolescence than children of parents who remained normal weight (mothers: 1.9 [95% CI: 1.4,2.5], fathers: 2.2 [95% CI: 1.5,3.0]). Children of mothers who reduced their weight from overweight to normal weight had no higher OR for overweight in adolescence than mothers who remained normal weight (OR: 1.0; 95% CI: 0.2, 4.7). Children of mothers who quit smoking (OR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.3, 0.8) had lower OR for overweight in adolescence than children of mothers who persisted in smoking.


Healthy changes in parental life-style during childhood are associated with lower occurrence of offspring overweight in adolescence.

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