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Infant BMI peak as a predictor of overweight and obesity at age 2 years in a Chinese community-based cohort.

Journal article
Authors Jie Sun
Bright I Nwaru
Jing Hua
Xiaohong Li
Zhuochun Wu
Published in BMJ open
Volume 7
Issue 10
Pages e015122
ISSN 2044-6055
Publication year 2017
Published at Krefting Research Centre
Pages e015122
Language en
Subject categories Health Sciences


Infant body mass index (BMI) peak has proven to be a useful indicator for predicting childhood obesity risk in American and European populations. However, it has not been assessed in China. We characterised infant BMI trajectories in a Chinese longitudinal cohort and evaluated whether BMI peak can predict overweight and obesity at age 2 years.Serial measurements (n=6-12) of weight and length were taken from healthy term infants (n=2073) in a birth cohort established in urban Shanghai. Measurements were used to estimate BMI growth curves from birth to 13.5 months using a polynomial regression model. BMI peak characteristics, including age (in months) and magnitude (BMI, in kg/m(2)) at peak and prepeak velocities (in kg/m(2)/month), were estimated. The relationship between infant BMI peak and childhood BMI at age 2 years was examined using binary logistic analysis.Mean age at peak BMI was 7.61 months, with a magnitude of 18.33 kg/m(2). Boys (n=1022) had a higher average peak BMI (18.60 vs 18.07 kg/m(2), p<0.001) and earlier average achievement of peak value (7.54 vs 7.67 months, p<0.05) than girls (n=1051). With 1 kg/m(2) increase in peak BMI and 1 month increase in peak time, the risk of overweight at age 2 years increased by 2.11 times (OR 3.11; 95% CI 2.64 to 3.66) and 35% (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.21 to 1.50), respectively. Similarly, higher BMI magnitude (OR 2.69; 95% CI 2.00 to 3.61) and later timing of infant BMI peak (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.68) were associated with an increased risk of childhood obesity at age 2 years.We have shown that infant BMI peak is valuable for predicting early childhood overweight and obesity in urban Shanghai. Because this is the first Chinese community-based cohort study of this nature, future research is required to examine infant populations in other areas of China.

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