Age at adiposity rebound: determinants and association with nutritional status and the metabolic syndrome at adulthood

Int J Obes (Lond). 2016 Jul;40(7):1150-6. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2016.39. Epub 2016 Mar 22.


Objective: Early-life growth characteristics and in particular age at adiposity rebound (AR), have been shown to impact nutritional status later in life but studies investigating the association with long-term health remain scarce. Our aims were to identify determinants of age at AR and its relationship with nutritional status and cardiometabolic risk factors at adulthood.

Design: A total of 1465 subjects aged 20-60 years participated in this retrospective cohort study. Height, weight, waist circumference, blood glucose, lipids and blood pressure were measured at adulthood. Childhood weight, height, gestational age, birth weight and early nutrition were collected retrospectively from health booklets and age at AR was assessed. Participants self-reported parental silhouettes. Associations were assessed using multiple linear and logistic regression.

Results: An earlier AR was associated with higher body mass index and waist circumference at adulthood in both men and women (P<0.0001). In addition, women with an earlier occurrence of AR had higher triglyceride (P=0.001), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P=0.001), systolic (P=0.02) and diastolic blood pressure (P=0.04) at adulthood. Both men (odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI)): 0.82 (0.70-0.95)) and women (OR (95% CI): 0.84 (0.73-0.96) with an AR occurring earlier were more likely to develop a metabolic syndrome. Larger parental silhouette was associated with an earlier AR.

Conclusions: This long-term study showed that age at AR was associated with nutritional status and metabolic syndrome at adulthood. These results highlight the importance of monitoring childhood growth so as to help identify children at risk of developing an adverse cardiometabolic profile in adulthood. AR determinants for use in overweight surveillance were identified.

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Style
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Weight Gain
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids