MJ O'Callaghan, FRACP, Director. GM Willliams, PhD, Reader Statistics. MJ Andersen, AIMS, Staff Scientist. W Bor, FRANZCP, Child Psychiatrist. JM Najman, PhD, Professor of Sociology.
Prediction of obesity in children at 5 years: A cohort study
Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2008
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 33, Issue 4, pages 311–316, August 1997
How to Cite
O'CALLAGHAN, M., WILLIAMS, G., ANDERSEN, M., BOR, W. and NAJMAN, J. (1997), Prediction of obesity in children at 5 years: A cohort study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 33: 311–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1997.tb01607.x
- Issue online: 10 MAR 2008
- Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2008
- Accepted for publication 10 February 1997.
Objective: To examine determinants of moderate and severe obesity in children at 5 years of age.
Methodology: A prospective cohort of mothers were enrolled at first antenatal visit, and interviewed shortly after delivery, at 6 months and 5 years. Detailed health, psychological and social questionnaires were completed at each phase by mothers, and child health questionnaires at 6 months and 5 years. At 5 years 4062 children were assessed physically, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test administered and mothers completed a modified Child Behaviour Checklist. Moderate obesity was defined as BMI between 85th and 94th percentiles inclusively, and severe obesity as a BMI greater than the 94th percentile.
Results: Independent predictors of severe obesity at 5 years were birthweight, female gender, maternal BMI and paternal BMI. Moderate obesity at 5 years was predicted by birthweight, paternal BMI and sleeplessness at 6 months, while small for gestational age (SGA) status and feeding problems at 6 months were protective factors for moderate obesity. Obesity was not associated with problems of language comprehension or behaviour.
Conclusions: Findings of this study suggest that biological rather than psychosocial factors are the major determinants of obesity at 5 years.