, Volume 172, Issue 6, pp 747-751
Date: 01 Feb 2013

Neonatal anthropometrics and correlation to childhood obesity—data from the Danish Children’s Obesity Clinic

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Recent evidence has demonstrated the prenatal initiation of childhood obesity as epidemiological studies and animal studies have illustrated the effect of the intrauterine milieu for subsequent development of childhood obesity. This study investigates the relationship between severe childhood obesity and the preceding in utero conditions expressed by birth weight and birth length, birth-weight-for-gestational-age and neonatal ponderal index in a Danish cohort of 1,171 severely obese children (median age 11.48 years, range 3.13 to 17.98 years) with a mean body mass index-standard derivation score (BMI-SDS) of +2.96 (range +1.65 to +9.72) treated in our national referral centre. In a linear general regression model adjusted for socioeconomic status and breastfeeding duration, a significant linear correlation between BMI-SDS at time of enrolment and both birth weight (p, 3.8 × 10−6) and birth length (p, 6.1 × 10−4), birth-weight-for-gestational-age (p, 4.3 × 10−7) and the neonatal ponderal index (p, 0.02) was demonstrated. Duration of breastfeeding, however, was not found to be significant for either the BMI-SDS/BW or the BMI-SDS/BL correlation. Conclusion: These results indicate that the prenatal period can be considered as a potential window of opportunity for prevention of childhood overweight and obesity and anthropological measurements may in theory be used to help identify neonates at high risk for developing childhood obesity.