Interrelationships among age at adiposity rebound, BMI during childhood, and BMI after age 14 years in an electronic health record database

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2022 Jan;30(1):201-208. doi: 10.1002/oby.23315.


Objective: This study compared the importance of age at adiposity rebound versus childhood BMI to subsequent BMI levels in a longitudinal analysis.

Methods: From the electronic health records of 4.35 million children, a total of 12,228 children were selected who were examined at least once each year between ages 2 and 7 years and reexamined after age 14 years. The minimum number of examinations per child was six. Each child's rebound age was estimated using locally weighted regression (lowess), a smoothing technique.

Results: Children who had a rebound age < 3 years were, on average, 7 kg/m2 heavier after age 14 years than were children with a rebound age ≥ 7 years. However, BMI after age 14 years was more strongly associated with BMI at the rebound than with rebound age (r = 0.57 vs. -0.44). Furthermore, a child's BMI at age 3 years provided more information on BMI after age 14 years than did rebound age. In addition, rebound age provided no information on subsequent BMI if a child's BMI at age 6 years was known.

Conclusions: Although rebound age is related to BMI after age 14 years, a child's BMI at age 3 years provides more information and is easier to obtain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Obesity