Integrating anthropometric and cardiometabolic health methods in stress, early experiences, and development (SEED) science

Jenalee R. Doom, Brie M. Reid, Emily Nagel, Sheila Gahagan, Ellen W. Demerath, Julie C. Lumeng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Within Stress, Early Experiences, and Development (SEED) science, there is a growing body of research demonstrating complex associations not only between stress, development, and psychopathology, but also with chronic disease risk factors. We argue that it is important for SEED researchers to consider including child anthropometric and physical health measures to more comprehensively capture processes of risk and resilience. Broader adoption of harmonized anthropometry and health measures in SEED research will facilitate collaborations, yielding larger datasets for research in high-risk populations, and greater opportunity to replicate existing findings. In this review, we identify optimal anthropometric and cardiometabolic health measurement methods used from infancy through adolescence, including those that are low-burden and inexpensive. Methods covered include: waist, hip, and head circumference, height, length, weight, pubertal development, body composition, blood pressure, arterial stiffness, carotid intima media thickness, and serum measures of cardiometabolic risk and inflammation. We provide resources for SEED researchers to integrate these methods into projects or to better understand these methods when reading the literature as well as where to find collaborators for more in-depth studies incorporating these measures. With broader integration of psychological and physical health measures in SEED research, we can better inform theory and interventions to promote health and resilience in individuals who have experienced early stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-621
Number of pages29
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number4
Early online dateSep 9 2020
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the following funding sources for support while writing this review: K01HL143159 (PI: Doom), F32HD088029 (PI: Doom), NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program No. 00039202 (PI: Reid), R01HD080444 (PI: Demerath), and R01HD084163 (PI: Lumeng).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • anthropometry
  • body composition
  • cardiometabolic health
  • development
  • inflammation
  • puberty
  • stress


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