At the time of the research.
Early markers of adult obesity: a review
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2011 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 347–367, April 2012
How to Cite
Brisbois, T. D., Farmer, A. P. and McCargar, L. J. (2012), Early markers of adult obesity: a review. Obesity Reviews, 13: 347–367. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00965.x
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
- Received 21 July 2011; revised 19 October 2011; accepted 24 October 2011
- Adult obesity;
- child development;
- early childhood
The purpose of this review was to evaluate factors in early childhood (≤5 years of age) that are the most significant predictors of the development of obesity in adulthood. Factors of interest included exposures/insults in the prenatal period, infancy and early childhood, as well as other socio-demographic variables such as socioeconomic status (SES) or birth place that could impact all three time periods. An extensive electronic and systematic search initially resulted in 8,880 citations, after duplicates were removed. Specific inclusion and exclusion criteria were set, and following two screening processes, 135 studies were retained for detailed abstraction and analysis. A total of 42 variables were associated with obesity in adulthood; however, of these, only seven variables may be considered as potential early markers of obesity based on the reported associations. Possible early markers of obesity included maternal smoking and maternal weight gain during pregnancy. Probable early markers of obesity included maternal body mass index, childhood growth patterns (early rapid growth and early adiposity rebound), childhood obesity and father's employment (a proxy measure for SES in many studies). Health promotion programmes/agencies should consider these factors as reasonable targets to reduce the risk of adult obesity.