Postprint version. Published in International Journal of Obesity, Volume 34, Issue 1, January 1, 2010, pages 195-202.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2009.201.
Background: Rapid weight gain in childhood may increase the risk of chronic adult diseases. Few studies have examined the effects of lifecourse weight gain on waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), or waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).
Objective: To evaluate the effects of birthweight and weight gain from birth to age 23 years on WC, HC, and WHR in young adults.
Design: Population-based birth cohort study started in 1982. A sample of 856 individuals was examined in 2006. Conditional growth analyses were carried out with adjustment for confounders. WC and HC were also mutually adjusted.
Results: Weight gains during all age ranges studied (birthweight, 0–2, 2–4, 4–15, 15–18/19, and 18/19–23 years) were positively associated with WC and HC in both sexes. These effects were strongest from 4 to 15 years range (β=5.0 cm for both circumferences). Proxies for visceral adipose tissue (WHR and WC adjusted for HC) were associated with weight gain after 2 years in females and after 4 years in males. Subcutaneous adipose and muscular tissues, assessed by HC adjusted for WC, were associated with birthweight and weight gain from 0 to 2 years in both sexes, and again with weight gains from 4 to 18 years in males and 4 to 15 years in females.
Conclusions: Weight gains in utero and in the first 2 years had long-term effects on HC, but weight gain after age 4 years was strongly associated with WC. Weight gains up to age 2 years may reduce cardiovascular risk associated with adult fat patterns in a middle-income setting.
Food Science | Nutrition
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