Body size and growth in 0- to 4-year-old children and the relation to body size in primary school age

Authors

  • T. Stocks,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    2. Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Urology and Andrology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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  • C. M. Renders,

    1. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    2. Research Centre for the Prevention of Overweight Zwolle, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, the Netherlands
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  • A. M. W. Bulk-Bunschoten,

    1. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • R. A. Hirasing,

    1. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • S. van Buuren,

    1. Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, TNO Quality of Life, Prevention and Health Care, Leiden, the Netherlands
    2. Department of Methodology and Statistics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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  • J. C. Seidell

    1. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    2. Research Centre for the Prevention of Overweight Zwolle, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, the Netherlands
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T Stocks, Institute of Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail: tanja.stocks@urologi.umu.se

Summary

Excess weight in early life is believed to increase susceptibility to obesity, and in support of such theory, excess weight and fast weight gain in early childhood have been related to overweight later in life. The aim of this study was to review the literature on body size and growth in 0- to 4-year-old children and the association with body size at age 5–13 years. In total, 43 observational studies on body size and/or growth were included, of which 24 studies had been published in 2005 or later. Twenty-one studies considered body size at baseline, and 31 studies considered growth which all included assessment of weight gain. Eight (38%) studies on body size, and 15 (48%) on weight gain were evaluated as high-quality studies. Our results support conclusions in previous reviews of a positive association between body size and weight gain in early childhood, and subsequent body size. Body size at 5–6 months of age and later and weight gain at 0–2 years of age were consistently positively associated with high subsequent body size. Results in this review were mainly based on studies from developed Western countries, but seven studies from developing countries showed similar results to those from developed countries.

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