The positive association of infant weight gain with adulthood body mass index has strengthened over time in the Fels Longitudinal Study

K. Lucas, P. James, A. C. Choh, M. Lee, S. A. Czerwinski, E. W. Demerath, W. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Infant weight gain is positively related to adulthood body mass index (BMI), but it is unknown whether or not this association is stronger for individuals born during (compared with before) the obesity epidemic. Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine how the infant weight gain–adulthood BMI association might have changed across successive birth year cohorts spanning most of the 20th century. Methods: The sample comprised 346 participants in the Fels Longitudinal Study. Confounder-adjusted regression models were used to test the associations of conditional weight-for-length Z-score, capturing weight change between ages 0–2 years, with young adulthood BMI and blood pressure, including cohort [1933–1949 {N = 137}, 1950–1969 {N = 108}, 1970–1997 {N = 101}] as an effect modifier. Results: Conditional weight-for-length Z-score was positively related to adulthood BMI, but there was significant effect modification by birth year cohort such that the association was over two times stronger in the 1970–1997 cohort (β 2.31; 95% confidence interval 1.59, 3.03) compared with the 1933–1949 (0.98; 0.31, 1.65) and 1950–1969 (0.87; 0.21, 1.54) cohorts. A similar pattern was found for systolic blood pressure. Conclusions: The infant weight gain–adulthood BMI association was over two times stronger among a cohort born during the obesity epidemic era compared with cohorts born earlier in the 20th century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-484
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Obesity
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
WJ is supported by a UK Medical Research Council (MRC) New Investigator Research Grant (MR/P023347/1), and acknowledges support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University, and the University of Leicester.

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the staff at the Lifespan Health Research Centre, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, for their commitment to data collection over the years and for preparing the dataset. We also wish to thank the Fels Longitudinal Study participants for their long-term commitment to the study without which this paper would not have been possible. WJ is supported by a UK Medical Research Council (MRC) New Investigator Research Grant (MR/P023347/1), and acknowledges support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University, and the University of Leicester. WJ, KL and EWD conceptualized the study. KL carried out the analyses and drafted the initial manuscript. SAC, EWD, ACC and ML collected the data. ACC created the dataset and conducted preliminary analyses. KL, PJ, ACC, ML, SAC, EWD and WJ made substantial contributions to the interpretation of the data, revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content, gave final approval of the version to be published and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 World Obesity Federation

Keywords

  • Adulthood body mass index
  • birth cohort study
  • infant weight gain
  • secular trend

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