Maternal and Early Childhood Risk Factors for Overweight and Obesity among Low-Income Predominantly Black Children at Age Five Years: A Prospective Cohort Study

J Obes. 2012;2012:457173. doi: 10.1155/2012/457173. Epub 2012 Sep 29.


Objective. To identify maternal and early childhood risk factors for obesity and overweight among children at age 5 in the state of Alabama. Methods. We recruited 740 mothers during early pregnancy from University of Alabama Prenatal Clinics in a prospective cohort study and followed them throughout pregnancy. We followed their children from birth until 5 years of age. The main outcome measure was obesity (BMI for age and sex ≥ 95th percentile) at 5 years of age. We used poisson regression with robust variance estimation to compute risk ratio (RR). Results. At the 5th year of followup, 71 (9.6%) of the children were obese and 85 (11.5%) were overweight (BMI ≥ 85th-<95th percentile). In multivariable analysis, maternal prepregnancy overweight (RR: 2.30, 95% CI: 1.29-4.11) and obesity (RR: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.49-4.31), and child's birth weight >85th percentile (RR: 2.04, 95% CI: 1.13-3.68) were associated with childhood obesity. Maternal prepregnancy BMI, birth weight, and maternal smoking were associated with the child being overweight 1-12 cigarettes/day versus 0 cigarettes/day (RR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.02-1.91). Conclusion. Children of overweight and obese mothers, and children with higher birth weight, are more likely to be obese and overweight at age 5. Maternal smoking 1-12 cigarettes per day is associated with the child being overweight.