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Modifiable early-life risk factors for childhood adiposity and overweight: an analysis of their combined impact and potential for prevention

Robinson, SM; Crozier, SR; Harvey, NC; Barton, BD; Law, CM; Godfrey, KM; Cooper, C; (2015) Modifiable early-life risk factors for childhood adiposity and overweight: an analysis of their combined impact and potential for prevention. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 101 (2) pp. 368-375. 10.3945/ajcn.114.094268. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Early life may be a "critical period" when appetite and regulation of energy balance are programmed, with lifelong consequences for obesity risk. Insight into the potential impact of modifying early-life risk factors on later obesity can be gained by evaluating their combined effects. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to examine the relation between the number of early-life risk factors and obesity outcomes among children in a prospective birth cohort (Southampton Women's Survey). DESIGN: Five risk factors were defined: maternal obesity [prepregnant body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) >30], excess gestational weight gain (Institute of Medicine, 2009), smoking during pregnancy, low maternal vitamin D status (<64 nmol/L), and short duration of breastfeeding (none or <1 mo). Obesity outcomes examined when the children were aged 4 and 6 y were BMI, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-assessed fat mass, overweight, or obesity (International Obesity Task Force). Data were available for 991 mother-child pairs, with children born between 1998 and 2003. RESULTS: Of the children, 148 (15%) had no early-life risk factors, 330 (33%) had 1, 296 (30%) had 2, 160 (16%) had 3, and 57 (6%) had 4 or 5. At both 4 and 6 y, there were positive graded associations between number of early-life risk factors and each obesity outcome (all P < 0.001). After taking account of confounders, the relative risk of being overweight or obese for children who had 4 or 5 risk factors was 3.99 (95% CI: 1.83, 8.67) at 4 y and 4.65 (95% CI: 2.29, 9.43) at 6 y compared with children who had none (both P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Having a greater number of early-life risk factors was associated with large differences in adiposity and risk of overweight and obesity in later childhood. These findings suggest that early intervention to change these modifiable risk factors could make a significant contribution to the prevention of childhood obesity.

Type: Article
Title: Modifiable early-life risk factors for childhood adiposity and overweight: an analysis of their combined impact and potential for prevention
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.094268
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.094268
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the CC-BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Keywords: adiposity, childhood obesity, early life, lifecourse, obesity, prevention, Absorptiometry, Photon, Adult, Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Breast Feeding, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Linear Models, Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Nutritional Status, Overweight, Pediatric Obesity, Pregnancy, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Vitamin D, Weight Gain
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493009
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