Objectives: To examine the tracking of abdominal fat distribution from the age of 7 to 15 years and to estimate the risk of abdominal obesity at 15 based on the occurrence of abdominal obesity at the ages 7–14 years in boys and girls.
Methods: The analysis was performed on 8-year longitudinal measurements of 315 boys and 198 girls from Cracow, Poland. The stability of waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) got assessed by inter-age correlations. The degree of abdominal fatness continuation level was evaluated applying contingency tables with the χ2 test based on quartiles of WC and WHtR distribution. The risk of abdominal obesity at 15 was estimated using odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval.
Results: Inter-age correlations between the 7th and 15th years were 0.73 and 0.67 in boys and 0.48 and 0.48 in girls for WC and WHtR, respectively. More than 51% girls and 62% boys with abdominal fat distribution at 7 remained in the same category in adolescence period, while only 2% of them moved to the thin category at 15. The risk of abdominal obesity (WHtR) was highest in boys and girls with abdominal obesity at 7 (OR = 5.46 and OR = 6.19, respectively) and, additionally, in girls at 12 (OR = 5.59).
Conclusion: The risk of abdominal obesity was indicated already at 7 in boys and girls. Continuation of the abdominal fat distribution confirmed in about 60% acknowledges that the type of fat distribution seems to be determined as early as in the 7-year-olds. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.