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Ann Nutr Metab. 2014;65(2-3):211-9. doi: 10.1159/000360305. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Overweight in infancy: which pre- and perinatal factors determine overweight persistence or reduction? A birth cohort followed for 11 years.

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Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



A considerable proportion of children with early-life overweight attain a normal weight. To recognize infants at risk of persistent overweight, we compared early-life factors of children with a longitudinal pattern of persistent overweight to children with a pattern of overweight in early but not in later childhood.


In 3,550 children participating in a birth cohort that started in 1996/1997 in the Netherlands, body mass index was repeatedly assessed until age 11 and dichotomized into with/without overweight. Latent class growth modeling was used to distinguish trajectories. Our analysis was focused on the comparison of early-life factors in children in a persistent overweight pattern with those in an overweight reduction pattern using multivariable log-binomial regression analyses.


Children (n = 133) in the persistent overweight pattern were more likely to have overweight parents [relative risk (RR)mother: 1.85, 95% CI: 1.37-2.49: RRfather: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.21-2.55] than children in the overweight reduction pattern (n = 303). Maternal education, child's gender, ethnicity, birth weight, breast-feeding and maternal smoking during pregnancy did not differ between the trajectories.


Health care practitioners should focus on high-weight infants with overweight parents, as these children are less likely to resolve their overweight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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