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Early Childhood Factors ID’d for Predicting Adult Obesity

Last Updated: December 29, 2011.

Childhood growth patterns, childhood obesity, maternal body mass index, and father's employment are probable early markers for adult obesity, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Obesity Reviews.

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood growth patterns, childhood obesity, maternal body mass index (BMI), and father's employment are probable early markers for adult obesity, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Obesity Reviews.

Tristin D. Brisbois, Ph.D., of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues conducted an electronic search that yielded 135 relevant studies. These studies were retained for detailed abstraction and analysis.

The researchers identified 42 variables associated with obesity in adulthood. Of these, only seven could be considered potential early markers of adult obesity. Possible early childhood (≤5 years of age) markers of adult obesity included maternal smoking and maternal weight gain during pregnancy. Probable early markers included maternal BMI, childhood growth patterns, childhood obesity, and father's employment (a measure for socioeconomic status).

"Maternal BMI, growth patterns during childhood (early rapid growth and early adiposity rebound), childhood obesity, and father's employment emerged as the factors that were most consistently associated with or predictive of adult obesity of the offspring being studied," the authors write.

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