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Early clinical markers of overweight/obesity onset and resolution by adolescence


Juonala, M and Lau, T and Wake, M and Grobler, A and Kerr, JA and Magnussen, CG and Sabin, MA and Burgner, DP and Lycett, K, Early clinical markers of overweight/obesity onset and resolution by adolescence, International Journal of Obesity, 44, (1) pp. 82-93. ISSN 0307-0565 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41366-019-0457-2


Objectives: We examined how combinations of clinical indicators at various ages predict overweight/obesity development, as well as resolution, by 10-11 and 14-15 years of age.

Methods: Data were derived from Birth (N = 3469) and Kinder (N = 3276) cohorts of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, followed from ages 2-3 and 4-5 years, respectively. Every two years, 25 potential obesity-relevant clinical indicators were quantified. Overweight/obesity was defined using International Obesity Taskforce cutpoints at 10-11 years and 14-15 years.

Results: In both cohorts, three factors predicted both development and resolution of overweight/obesity in multivariable models. Among normal weight children, increased odds of developing overweight/obesity were associated with higher child (odd ratio (OR) 1.67-3.35 across different study waves) and maternal (OR 1.05-1.09) BMI, and inversely with higher maternal education (OR 0.60-0.62, when assessed at age 2-7 years). Lower odds of resolving existing overweight/obesity were related with higher child (OR 0.51-0.79) and maternal (OR 0.89-0.95) BMI, and inversely with higher maternal education (OR 1.62-1.92, when assessed at age 2-5 years). The prevalence of overweight/obesity at the age of 14-15 years was 13% among children with none of these risk factors at age 6-7 years, compared with 71% among those with all 3 risk factors (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: From early childhood onwards, child and maternal BMI and maternal education predict overweight/obesity onset and resolution by adolescence. A simple risk score, easily available to child health clinicians, could help target treatment or prevention.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
ID Code:139825
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-07-07
Last Modified:2022-08-25

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