Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 89–97 | Cite as

Higher Birthweight and Maternal Pre-pregnancy BMI Persist with Obesity Association at Age 9 in High Risk Latino Children

  • Thora Wesenberg Kjaer
  • Daniel Faurholt-Jepsen
  • Rosalinda Medrano
  • Deena Elwan
  • Kala Mehta
  • Vibeke Brix Christensen
  • Janet M. WojcickiEmail author
Original Paper


Childhood obesity is increasing especially in Latinos and early intervention is essential to prevent later obesity complications. Latino children (n = 201) recruited at two San Francisco hospitals were assessed at birth including infant anthropometrics and feeding practices and followed to age 9 with annual anthropometric assessments. We evaluated the relationship between perinatal risk factors and obesity at age 9 and chronic obesity (obesity at both 5 and 9 years). Higher birthweight [odds ratio (OR) 2.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–5.81] and maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.00–1.18) were associated with increased risk for obesity at 9 years. Higher maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20) was associated with chronic obesity. Additionally, prenatal depression symptoms were protective (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.11–0.94) against chronic obesity. We found no association between maternal age and education, exclusive breastfeeding at 4–6 weeks, rapid infant weight gain, and obesity or chronic obesity. Perinatal risk factors for obesity including higher birthweight and maternal pre-pregnancy BMI persisted until age 9, whereas, other variables significant at age 5 in our cohort and other populations including exclusive breastfeeding and rapid infant weight gain were no longer associated with increased risk.


Childhood obesity Latinos Perinatal infant risk factors Perinatal maternal risk factors 



Odds ratio


Confidence interval


Body mass index


University of California San Francisco


San Francisco General Hospital


World Health Organization


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Institute of Medicine


Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale


Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale


Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview


Standard deviation



This work was supported by a Grant from the Lundbeck Foundation to the Innovation Centre, Denmark and University of California, San Francisco to fund the Lundbeck Foundation Clinical Research Fellowship for Thora Wesenberg Kjaer. This study was funded by NIH NIDDK 080825, Marc and Lynne Benioff, the NASPGHAN Foundation, the Hellman Family Foundation and UCSF CTSI-SOS. This research was also supported by NIH/NCRR UCSF-CTSI Grant No. UL1 RR024131.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

No competing financial interests exist.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of PediatricsUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition, Exercise and SportsUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsCopenhagen University Hospital, RigshospitaletCopenhagenDenmark

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