Background: Growth patterns in early childhood are important for predicting adult overweight or obesity. BMI is the most widely used measure. However BMI does not reveal much regarding the distribution of fat, for example the visceral fat that in adults is highly correlated with metabolic risk. Waist-to-Height Ratio (WtHR) is in adults a better measure for visceral fat and studies indicate that the same applies to children.
Objective and hypotheses: To study changes in WtHR during preschool years in children being obese, overweight or not overweight at five years of age according to ISO-BMI cut-off values.
Method: Longitudinal study of 2666 children participating in the Halland Health and Growth Study, followed from 0 to 5 years. Measurements of weight, waist circumference and height were made at 0, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months. Children were classified as obese, overweight or not overweight at 60 months according to ISO-BMI cut-off values.
Results: Overweight boys had higher WtHR at every measure point compared with not overweight boys, exemplified by; 0 m, 0.70 vs 0.68, P<0.001, 24 m, 0.57 vs 0.55, P<0.001 and 60 m, 0.51 vs 0.48, P<0.001. Overweight girls had higher WtHR, except at birth; 0 m, 0.69 vs 0.68, P=0.07, 24 m, 0.58 vs 0.56, P<0.001 and 60 m, 0.51 vs 0.48, P<0.001. Obese boys had higher values compared with not overweight boys, except at birth, however only significant after 18 m; 0 m, 0.68 vs 0.68, P=0.95, 24 m, 0.58 vs 0.55, P=0.02 and 60 m, 0.53 vs 0.48, P<0.001. Obese girls had higher values at every measure point compared with not overweight girls; 0 m, 0.69 vs 0.68, P=0.19, 24 m, 0.60 vs 0.56, P<0.001, 60 m, 0.56 vs 0.48, P<0.001.
Conclusion: Obese or overweight children at five years of age could be identified by higher WtHR during first five years compared with not overweight children.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology