Weights of parents and infants: is there a relationship?

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Feb;23(2):159-62. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800785.


Objective: To assess the relationship between the measures of body weights of parents and those of their children during the first two years of life.

Subjects: Seventy-eight infants born to obese ('high risk') or nonobese ('low risk') mothers.

Methods: Weight, weight for length and skinfold thicknesses of the high and low risk infants were measured at 3 months, 12 months and 24 months of age. A multiple linear regression analysis assessed the contributions of nine risk factors, including paternal and maternal body mass index (BMI: kg/m2), to the weight and weight for length of infants at 12 months and 24 months of age.

Results: There were no differences between the high and low risk groups in weight, weight for length or skinfold thicknesses at 3 months, 12 months or 24 months of age. Neither paternal nor maternal BMI entered the multiple regression.

Conclusions: These results suggest that genetic influences on the body weight of infants may be independent of those that influence BMI in adults, a circumstance that could complicate the search for genetic determinants of obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / genetics*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Parents*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness