Two-decade follow-up of fatness in early childhood

Am J Dis Child. 1985 Feb;139(2):181-5. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140040083033.


As shown in our study of 383 infants and preschool children followed through early adulthood, there is some evidence that obese children are more likely to be obese as adults. Though skinfold correlations over a two-decade period were low, averaging 0.14 for both sexes, 26% of initially obese preschool children were still obese two decades later as against 15% that would be expected by chance. The risk ratio was thus 1.77. Examined in the context of the family, the fatness levels of siblings, parents and grandparents help to identify obese children for whom early intervention is indicated and the larger number of obese preschoolers who do not become obese adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk
  • Skinfold Thickness