Introduction: Childhood obesity rates have increased exponentially in the past three decades. Parental characteristics, such as weight status, physical activity (PA), education and smoking habits have been identified individually as being potential determinants of offspring obesity. However, no prospective studies have examined the joint impact of parental lifestyle habits on their offspring's adiposity. We identified clusters of parental characteristics, and estimated their influence on offspring adiposity in late adolescence.
Methods: Data stem from the QUALITY Cohort, a longitudinal study of children with at least one obese parent. Children were evaluated at 8-10y (n=630), 10-12y (n=564), and 15-17y (n=377). Parental smoking habits, PA and education were self-reported. Weight and height were obtained and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Cluster analysis was performed on 209 families with complete data across all 3 evaluation cycles. We performed cluster analysis on mothers and fathers separately using partitioning around medoids (PAM) to identify parental phenotype clusters based on 4 parental characteristics (BMI, PA, education and smoking habits). Linear regressions, adjusted for child age, sex and Tanner stage, were used to assess associations between clusters (mothers and fathers) and measures of childhood adiposity (BMI z-score) at 15-17y.
Results: Three clusters were identified among mothers and four clusters among fathers. Mothers in cluster 1 (n=18) were obese, less educated, smoked, and tended to be more active; cluster 2 (n=109) were overweight, educated and non-smokers; cluster 3 (n=82) were overweight, less educated, non-smokers and tended to be less active. Fathers in cluster 1 (n=109) were less educated and non-smokers, cluster 2 (n=68) were educated and non-smokers, cluster 3 (n=23) were less educated and smokers and cluster 4 (n=9) were older, educated and smokers.
Children of obese, less educated and smoking mothers(cluster 1) had higher adiposity measurements compared with children of overweight, educated, non-smokingmothers (cluster 2), with an increase in BMI z-score of +0.94 (95% CI: 0.35-1.53); P=0.002. Child adiposity measurements were comparable across father phenotype clusters.
Conclusions: Targeting obese and less educated mothers who smoke to promote the adoption of healthier lifestyle habits may be effective at preventing later adiposity in their offspring.
19 - 21 Sep 2019
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology