European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 172, Issue 6, pp 747–751

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

  • Ulrik Lausten-Thomsen
  • Dorthe Sadowa Bille
  • Ida Nässlund
  • Lise Folskov
  • Torben Larsen
  • Jens-Christian Holm
Original Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Birth weight Childhood obesity Neonatal ponderal index DOHaD (developmental origins of health and disease) 

References

  1. 1.
    Agaard-Tillery KM, Grove K, Bishop J, Ke X, Fu Q, McKnight R, Lane RH (2008) Developmental origins of disease and determinants of chromatin structure: maternal diet modifies the primate fetal epigenome. J Mol Endocrinol 41(2):91–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker JL, Olsen LW, Sorensen TI (2007) Childhood body-mass index and the risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood. N Engl J Med 357(23):2329–2337PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bennett WI (1995) Beyond overeating. N Engl J Med 332(10):673–674PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carey WB (1985) Temperament and increased weight gain in infants. J Dev Behav Pediatr 6(3):128–131PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chang GQ, Gaysinskaya V, Karatayev O, Leibowitz SF (2008) Maternal high-fat diet and fetal programming: increased proliferation of hypothalamic peptide-producing neurons that increase risk for overeating and obesity. J Neurosci 28(46):12107–12119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Christoffel KK, Forsyth BW (1989) Mirror image of environmental deprivation: severe childhood obesity of psychosocial origin. Child Abuse Negl 13(2):249–256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fallucca S, Vasta M, Sciullo E, Balducci S, Fallucca F (2009) Birth weight: genetic and intrauterine environment in normal pregnancy. Diabetes Care 32(12):e149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Garrison RJ, Kannel WB, Stokes J III, Castelli WP (1987) Incidence and precursors of hypertension in young adults: the Framingham Offspring Study. Prev Med 16(2):235–251PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Haggarty P, Campbell DM, Bendomir A, Gray ES, Abramovich DR (2004) Ponderal index is a poor predictor of in utero growth retardation. BJOG 111(2):113–119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hales CN, Barker DJ (1992) Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus: the thrifty phenotype hypothesis. Diabetologia 35(7):595–601PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Han JC, Lawlor DA, Kimm SY (2010) Childhood obesity. Lancet 375(9727):1737–1748PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Holm JC, Gamborg M, Bille DS, Gr Nb KH, Ward LC, Faerk J (2011) Chronic care treatment of obese children and adolescents. Int J Pediatr Obes 6(3–4):188–196PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Holm JC, Gamborg M, Neland M, Ward L, Gammeltoft S, Heitmann BL, Sorensen TI, Ibsen KK (2012) Longitudinal changes in blood pressure during weight loss and regain of weight in obese boys and girls. J Hypertens 30(2):368–374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Huang JS, Lee TA, Lu MC (2007) Prenatal programming of childhood overweight and obesity. Matern Child Health J 11(5):461–473PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lamb MM, Dabelea D, Yin X, Ogden LG, Klingensmith GJ, Rewers M, Norris JM (2010) Early-life predictors of higher body mass index in healthy children. Ann Nutr Metab 56(1):16–22PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Larnkjaer A, Ingstrup HK, Schack-Nielsen L, Molgaard C, Michaelsen KF (2011) Thin newborns are more insulin resistant at 10 years of age. Acta Paediatr 100(4):511–514PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Law CM, Gordon GS, Shiell AW, Barker DJ, Hales CN (1995) Thinness at birth and glucose tolerance in seven-year-old children. Diabet Med 12(1):24–29PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Leibel RL, Rosenbaum M, Hirsch J (1995) Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight. N Engl J Med 332(10):621–628PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Li R, O’Connor L, Buckley D, Specker B (1995) Relation of activity levels to body fat in infants 6 to 12 months of age. J Pediatr 126(3):353–357PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Marsal K, Persson PH, Larsen T, Lilja H, Selbing A, Sultan B (1996) Intrauterine growth curves based on ultrasonically estimated foetal weights. Acta Paediatr 85(7):843–848PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    McCurdy CE, Bishop JM, Williams SM, Grayson BE, Smith MS, Friedman JE, Grove KL (2009) Maternal high-fat diet triggers lipotoxicity in the fetal livers of nonhuman primates. J Clin Invest 119(2):323–335PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Monasta L, Batty GD, Cattaneo A, Lutje V, Ronfani L, van Lenthe FJ, Brug J (2010) Early-life determinants of overweight and obesity: a review of systematic reviews. Obes Rev 11(10):695–708PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Muhlhausler BS, Adam CL, Findlay PA, Duffield JA, McMillen IC (2006) Increased maternal nutrition alters development of the appetite-regulating network in the brain. FASEB J 20(8):1257–1259PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Muhlhausler BS, Duffield JA, McMillen IC (2007) Increased maternal nutrition stimulates peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-gamma, adiponectin, and leptin messenger ribonucleic acid expression in adipose tissue before birth. Endocrinology 148(2):878–885PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nysom K, Molgaard C, Hutchings B, Michaelsen KF (2001) Body mass index of 0 to 45-y-old Danes: reference values and comparison with published European reference values. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 25(2):177–184PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Parsons TJ, Power C, Manor O (2001) Fetal and early life growth and body mass index from birth to early adulthood in 1958 British cohort: longitudinal study. BMJ 323(7325):1331–1335PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Rasmussen F, Johansson M (1998) The relation of weight, length and ponderal index at birth to body mass index and overweight among 18-year-old males in Sweden. Eur J Epidemiol 14(4):373–380PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Reilly JJ, Armstrong J, Dorosty AR, Emmett PM, Ness A, Rogers I, Steer C, Sherriff A (2005) Early life risk factors for obesity in childhood: cohort study. BMJ 330(7504):1357PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rogers I (2003) The influence of birthweight and intrauterine environment on adiposity and fat distribution in later life. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 27(7):755–777PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rugholm S, Baker JL, Olsen LW, Schack-Nielsen L, Bua J, Sorensen TI (2005) Stability of the association between birth weight and childhood overweight during the development of the obesity epidemic. Obes Res 13(12):2187–2194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Schack-Nielsen L, Molgaard C, Sorensen TI, Greisen G, Michaelsen KF (2006) Secular change in size at birth from 1973 to 2003: national data from Denmark. Obesity (Silver Spring) 14(7):1257–1263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Simmons R (2008) Perinatal programming of obesity. Semin Perinatol 32(5):371–374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Simmons RA (2009) Developmental origins of adult disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 56(3):449–466, TablePubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sorensen HT, Sabroe S, Rothman KJ, Gillman M, Fischer P, Sorensen TI (1997) Relation between weight and length at birth and body mass index in young adulthood: cohort study. BMJ 315(7116):1137PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Stewart AW, Jackson RT, Ford MA, Beaglehole R (1987) Underestimation of relative weight by use of self-reported height and weight. Am J Epidemiol 125(1):122–126PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Stunkard AJ, Sorensen TI (1993) Obesity and socioeconomic status—a complex relation. N Engl J Med 329(14):1036–1037PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Vik T, Vatten L, Jacobsen G, Bakketeig LS (1997) Prenatal growth in symmetric and asymmetric small-for-gestational-age infants. Early Hum Dev 48(1–2):167–176PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yu ZB, Han SP, Zhu GZ, Zhu C, Wang XJ, Cao XG, Guo XR (2011) Birth weight and subsequent risk of obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev 12(7):525–542PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrik Lausten-Thomsen
    • 1
  • Dorthe Sadowa Bille
    • 1
  • Ida Nässlund
    • 2
  • Lise Folskov
    • 1
  • Torben Larsen
    • 2
  • Jens-Christian Holm
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.The Children’s Obesity Clinic, Department of PaediatricsCopenhagen University Hospital HolbaekHolbaekDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Gynaecology and ObstetricsCopenhagen University Hospital HolbaekHolbaekDenmark
  3. 3.Institute of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Paediatrics, the Medical FacultyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations