Correlates of body mass index and overweight and obesity of children aged 2 years: findings from the healthy beginnings trial

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jul;22(7):1723-30. doi: 10.1002/oby.20700. Epub 2014 May 7.


Objective: We sought to determine early life factors that predict body mass index (BMI) and overweight/obesity of children aged 2 years.

Methods: A longitudinal and prospective analysis was conducted with 330 first-time mothers and their newborns. Children's weight and length were measured at 2 years. Main factors of interest included reported infant feeding practices, children's fruit/vegetable consumption, and television (TV) time. Maternal demographic data, weight and height, and smoking status were collected by face-to-face interview at baseline. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were run to determine factors that predicted BMI or overweight/obesity of children aged 2 years, respectively.

Results: At age 2 years, 242 remained in the study (retention rate 73%). Mean (SD) BMI of children was 16.87 kg/m(2) (1.62), with 14% classified as overweight/obese. Factors predicting lower child BMI were longer breastfeeding duration, less TV viewing time, and lower child's birth weight as well as maternal healthy prepregnancy weight status. Factors predicting children's overweight/obesity status were shorter breastfeeding duration, earlier introduction of solid food, and maternal overweight or obesity.

Conclusions: At 2 years of age, longer breastfeeding duration was associated with lower BMI, while greater TV viewing time was associated with higher BMI, after adjusting for other factors. Early introduction of solids and maternal overweight or obesity were independently associated with overweight or obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index*
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / prevention & control*
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Television