Background: A rapid weight gain during infancy increases adult lean body mass, whereas weight gain during adiposity rebound at age 4-7 years results in increased adult fat mass and an increased risk of the metabolic syndrome and T2D. To understand the impact of age of obesity onset on growth, we classified non-syndromic childhood overweight into an early onset (EO, age 0-3) and a late onset (LO, age 3-7) group and characterized the growth patterns of the two.
Methods: The subjects were 1716 children (575 girls) of the GrowUp1974 Gothenburg cohort, of which 169 were overweight or obese at age 18 (BMI>25 kg/m2). 64 children of the overweight group (28 girls) had a high BMI with an EO, age <3 years, mostly before age 2y, and 105 children (30 girls), had a high BMI with a LO at average age 5.02y, (Chi-square for sexual dimorphism P=.044).
Results: The adiposity rebound happened at comparable age. During childhood (age 1.5-3.5y; P=0.050) and juvenility (age 7-9y; P=0.017), and at age 18y (P=0.041), girls, but not boys of the EO group were taller and heavier (P=0.046), and their mothers were taller (P=0.001). The age at ICT (infant to childhood transition) and the age at the PHV (peak height velocity), indicating pubertal tempo, were comparable.
Conclusions: 1. The EO group had relatively more girls and they were more affected by obesity than the LO group. 2. During the entire growth period and at final height, girls of the EO group, and also their mothers, were taller than girls of the LO group. 3. The timing of onset of overweight can be used to distinguish between obese children who are likely (LO) or unlikely (EO) to embark on a trajectory, which leads to insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome, and T2D.
19 - 21 Sep 2019
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology