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Child Obes. 2010 Aug 1;6(4):201-207.

Associations Between Mothers' and Their Children's Weights at 4 Years of Age.

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1
Professor of Community Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the importance of maternal weight characteristics as predictors of overweight (BMI ≥85th percentile and <95th percentile) and obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) in offspring at age 4 years.

METHODS:

Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were conducted on a sample of 321 mother/child pairs from an earlier observational cohort study on mothers' postpartum weight retention.

RESULTS:

Maternal early pregnancy BMI and infant birth weight were each positively and significantly (p <0.05) associated with increased risk of obesity in offspring at age 4 years. A significant interaction was found between these two variables in predicting children's risk of obesity. It was driven by the high proportion of obese children among obese women who had infants weighing < 3 kg at birth. Net gestational weight gain was not associated with obesity risk in children, but was positively associated with infant birth weight among normal weight and overweight women.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reducing maternal BMI in the preconception period among overweight and obese women and preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy for all women appear to be appropriate strategies to address the childhood obesity epidemic.

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