Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 15 (2), e12580

Early-life Determinants of Excess Weight in Children Born Heavy


Early-life Determinants of Excess Weight in Children Born Heavy

Amy R Goetz et al. Pediatr Obes.


Infants born heavy are vulnerable to later obesity, but it is unknown whether obesity-related risk factors present between conception and delivery predict their postnatal weight trajectory. We modelled the weight trajectories of infants born high birth weight (HBW, greater than or equal to 4000 g) and/or large for gestational age (LGA, greater than 90th percentile) using data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (N = 371). A high percentage of infants were both HBW and LGA, but the trajectories were modelled separately. Weight of infants born heavy begins high, gradually decreases, and then levels off by 12 months. Delivery method was the only predictor of weight. Caesarean-delivered HBW infants were heavier than vaginally-delivered HBW infants although this effect disappeared by 12 months. Findings indicate that early-life influences are not necessarily deterministic of the postnatal weight trajectory of infants born heavy. Future research is needed to examine postnatal behaviours that may be implicated in the relationship between large size at birth and later obesity.

Keywords: high birth weight; infant growth; large for gestational age; macrosomia.

Similar articles

See all similar articles



    1. Hediger ML, Overpeck MD, McGlynn A, Kuczmarski RJ, Maurer KR, Davis WW. Growth and fatness at three to six years of age of children born small-or large-for-gestational age. Pediatrics. 1999;104(3):e33-e33.
    1. Yu ZB, Han SP, Zhu GZ, et al. Birth weight and subsequent risk of obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2011;12(7):525-542.
    1. Harder T, Rodekamp E, Schellong K, Dudenhausen JW, Plagemann A. Birth weight and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165(8):849-857.
    1. Ju H, Chadha Y, Donovan T, O'Rourke P. Fetal macrosomia and pregnancy outcomes. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2009;49(5):504-509.
    1. Cnattingius S, Villamor E, Lagerros YT, Wikstrom AK, Granath F. High birth weight and obesity-a vicious circle across generations. Int J Obes (Lond). 2012;36(10):1320-1324.

LinkOut - more resources