Risk Factors for Overweight in early ages: longitudinal design with Spanish Preschoolers
Keywords:BMI, overweight, preschool children, risk factor, Spain
Previous studies have shown that there are several significant early-life risk factors associated with childhood overweight. However, research has mainly focused on school-aged children. The aim of this study is to identify risk factors in early life for overweight in a community sample of Spanish preschoolers. A sample of 622 three-year-olds was monitored until the age of 5, and their height and weight were registered annually. Overweight status was defined by World Health Organization standards. A large set of risk factors including sociodemographic variables, family structure, pregnancy, birth, postnatal period, school and neighborhood were measured through semi-structured interviews. Stepwise logistic regressions created predictive models with the best predictors of overweight for each age group. This is the first longitudinal study to examine a large set of risk factors among Spanish preschoolers. Several potential early risk factors in preschool children were associated with later overweight: high birth weight, ethnicity, excess screen time, low attention span, maternal smoking during pregnancy, inconsistent discipline, fewer rules, corporal punishment and parents psychopathology. Among them, the most powerful factor was high birth-weight (odds ratio = 1.89 at age 3, 1.87 at age 4, and 2.35 at age 5), underlining the importance of weight monitoring from postpartum and routine screening for overweight in children who have high birth weight. With the increasing prevalence of overweight in children at early ages, understanding the determinants for overweight risk becomes crucial for public health professionals and policy-makers in order to implement effective prevention and intervention programs
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