Tracking of weight status and body fatness in Italian children

  • Stefania Toselli
  • Patricia Brasili
  • Rocco Di Michele
Original Article

Abstract

The prevalence of weight disorders among school-aged children is an increasing phenomenon and it is of great importance to identify the characteristics of individuals at risk of gaining or retaining weight. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of weight disorders and their tracking over a 3-year period in a sample of Italian children. Body mass, body height and selected skinfold thicknesses were assessed in 355 children at the age of 7 and 10 years. Tracking of body mass index (BMI), inverted BMI (iBMI) and skinfold-based body fat were analyzed and the relationships between changes in BMI and body fat were examined. Children presenting with overweight or obesity at 7 years old showed a trend toward lower weight categories at 10 years old. Conversely, a trend to become overweight was observed among normal weight boys, and a trend to become underweight was observed among normal weight girls. BMI, iBMI and body fat showed good levels of tracking, with high correlations between measurements performed at 7 and 10 years of age. Furthermore, BMI and iBMI changes were correlated to body fatness changes. The present study shows the importance of carefully following children’s development over time because weight disorders may appear even in previously normal weight children.

Keywords

Body fat Body mass index Obesity Skinfolds Weight disorders 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research was supported by grants PRIN 2009—MIUR.

Conflict of interest

None.

References

  1. 1.
    Starc G, Strel J (2010) Tracking excess weight and obesity from childhood to young adulthood: a 12-year prospective cohort study in Slovenia. Public Health Nutr 14:49–55PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Leitão R, Rodrigues LP, Neves L, Carvalho GS (2011) Changes in adiposity status from childhood to adolescence: a 6-year longitudinal study in Portuguese boys and girls. Ann Hum Biol 38:520–528PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Goncalves Jde A, Moreira AE, Trindade EB, Fiates GM (2013) Eating disorders in childhood and adolescence. Rev Paul Pediatr 31:96–103PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Krug I, Villarejo C, Jimenez-Murica S et al (2013) Eating-related environmental factors in underweight eating disorders and obesity: are there common vulnerabilities during childhood and early adolescence? Eur Eat Disord Rev 21:202–208PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    McDermott BM, Mamun AA, Najman JM, Williams GM, O’Callaghan MJ, Bor W (2010) Longitudinal correlates of the persistence of irregular eating from age 5 to 14 years. Acta Paediatr 99:68–71PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pervanidou P, Chrousos GP (2011) Stress and obesity/metabolic syndrome in childhood and adolescence. Int J Pediatr Obes 6(suppl 1):21–28PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Soliman AT, Yasin M, Kassem A (2012) Leptin in pediatrics: a hormone from adipocyte that wheels several functions in children. Indian J Endocrinol Metab 16:S577–S587PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, Dietz WH, Vinicor F, Bales VS, Marks JS (2001) Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors. JAMA 289:76–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Freedman DS, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS (1999) The relation of overweight to cardiovascular risk factors among children and adolescents: the Bogalusa heart study. Pediatrics 103:1175–1182PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Harrell JS, Jessup A, Greene N (2006) Changing our future: obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. J Cardiovasc Nurs 21:322–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Weiss R, Dziura J, Burgert TS et al (2004) Obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. N Engl J Med 350:2362–2374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Thompson D, Wolf AM (2001) The medical-care cost burden of obesity. Obes Rev 2:189–197PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wang G, Dietz WH (2002) Economic burden of obesity in youths aged 6 to 17 years: 1979–1999. Pediatrics 109:e81. doi: 10.1542/peds.109.5.e81 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stamatakis E, Primatesta P, Chinn S, Rona R, Falascheti E (2005) Overweight and obesity trends from 1974 to 2003 in English children: what is the role of socioeconomic factors? Arch Dis Child 90:999–1004PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Haslam DW, James WP (2005) Obesity. Lancet 366:1197–1209PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wright CM, Emmett PM, Ness AR, Reilly JJ, Sherriff A (2010) Tracking of obesity and body fatness through mid-childhood. Arch Dis Child 95:612–617PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Crimmins NA, Dolan LM, Martin LJ, Bean JA, Daniels SR, Lawson ML, Goodman E, Woo JG (2007) Stability of adolescent body mass index during three years of follow-up. J Pediatr 151:383–387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Magarey AM, Daniels LA, Boulton TJ, Cockington RA (2003) Predicting obesity in early adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 27:505–513PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Guo SS, Huang C, Maynard LM, Demerath E, Towne B, Chumlea WC, Siervogel RM (2000) Body mass index during childhood, adolescence and young adulthood in relation to adult overweight and adiposity: the Fels longitudinal study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 24:1628–1635PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kemper HC, Post GB, Twisk JW, van Mechelen W (1999) Lifestyle and obesity in adolescence and young adulthood: results from the Amsterdam growth and health longitudinal study (AGAHLS). Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 23(Suppl 3):S34–S40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kvaavik E, Tell GS, Klepp KI (2003) Predictors and tracking of body mass index from adolescence into adulthood: follow-up of 18 to 20 years in the Oslo youth study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 157:1212–1218PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Singh AS, Mulder C, Twisk JW, van Mechelen W, Chinapaw MJ (2008) Tracking of childhood overweight into adulthood: a systematic review of the literature. Obes Rev 9:474–488PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nader PR, O’Brien M, Houts R et al (2006) Identifying risk for obesity in early childhood. Pediatrics 118:e594–e601PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Valerio G, D’Amico O, Adinolfi M, Munciguerra A, D’Amico R, Franzese A (2006) Determinants of weight gain in children from 7 to 10 years. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 16:272–278PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sweeting H, Wright C, Minnis H (2005) Psychosocial correlates of adolescent obesity, ‘slimming down’ and ‘becoming obese’. J Adolesc Health 37:409PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wardle J, Brodersen NH, Cole TJ, Jarvis MJ, Boniface DR (2006) Development of adiposity in adolescence: five year longitudinal study of an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of young people in Britain. BMJ 332:1130–1135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Di Renzo L, Del Gobbo V, Bigioni M, Premrov MG, Cianci R, De Lorenzo A (2006) Body composition analysis in normal weight obese women. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 10:191–196PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    De Lorenzo A, Bianchi A, Maroni P et al (2013) Adiposity rather than BMI determines metabolic risk. Int J Cardiol 166:111–117PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Demerath EW, Schubert CM, Maynard LM, Sun SS, Chumlea WC, Pickoff AA, Czerwinski SA, Towne B, Siervogel RM (2006) Do changes in body mass index percentile reflect changes in body composition in children? Data from the Fels longitudinal study. Pediatrics 117(3):e487–e495PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gomez Campos R, De Marco A, de Arruda M et al (2013) Prediction equations for fat percentage from body circumferences in prepubescent children. Nutr Hosp 28:772–778PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Slaughter MH, Lohman TG, Boileau RA et al (1988) Skinfold equations for estimation of body fatness in children and youth. Hum Biol 60:709–723PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Freedman DS, Khan LK, Serdula MK, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS (2005) The relation of childhood BMI to adult adiposity: the Bogalusa heart study. Pediatrics 115:22–27PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Duncan MJ, Mota J, Vale S, Santos MP, Ribeiro JC (2012) Comparisons between inverted body mass index and body mass index as proxies for body fatness and risk factors for metabolic risk and cardiorespiratory fitness in Portuguese adolescents. Am J Hum Biol 24:618–625PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH (2000) Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. BMJ 320:1240–1245PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Cole TJ, Flegal KM, Nicholls D, Jackson AA (2007) Body mass index cut offs to define thinness in children and adolescents: international survey. BMJ 335:194–201PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Weiner JS, Lourie JA (1981) Practical human biology. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Calzo JP, Sonneville KR, Haines J, Blood EA, Field AE, Austin SB (2012) The development of associations among body mass index, body dissatisfaction, and weight shape concern in adolescent boys and girls. J Adolesc Health 51:517–523PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Gualdi-Russo E, Albertini A, Argnani L, Celenza F, Nicolucci M, Toselli S (2008) Weight status and body image perception in Italian children. J Hum Nutr Diet 21:39–45PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lake JK, Power C, Cole TJ (1997) Child to adult body mass index in the 1958 British birth cohort: associations with parental obesity. Arch Dis Child 77:376–381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Rolland-Cachera MF, Bellisle F, Sempe M (1989) The prediction in boys and girls of the weight/height index and various skinfold measurements in adults: a two-decade follow-up study. Int J Obes 13:305–311PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    DiPietro L, Mossberg HO, Stunkard AJ (1994) A 40-year history of overweight children in Stockholm: life-time overweight, morbidity, and mortality. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 18:585–590PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Juhola J, Magnussen CG, Viikari JS et al (2011) Tracking of serum lipid levels, blood pressure, and body mass index from childhood to adulthood: the cardiovascular risk in young Finns study. J Pediatr 159:584–590PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Reilly JJ, Bonataki M, Leary SD, Wells CJ, Davey-Smith G, Emmett P, Steer C, Ness AR, Sherriff A (2011) Progression from childhood overweight to adolescent obesity in a large contemporary cohort. Int J Pediatr Obes 6(2–2):e138–e143. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2010.497538 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Cairella G, Casagni L, Lamberti A, Censi L (2008) Overweight and obesity in Italian children aged 6–11 years. Ann Ig 20:315–327PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Binkin N, Fontana G, Lamberti A, Cattaneo C, Baglio G, Perra A, Spinelli A (2010) A national survey of the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Italy. Obes Rev 11:2–10PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Hallal PC, Reichert FF, Ekelund U, Dumith SC, Menezes AM, Victora CG, Wells J (2012) Bidirectional cross-sectional and prospective associations between physical activity and body composition in adolescence: birth cohort study. J Sports Sci 30:183–190PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Boreham C, Robson PJ, Gallagher AM, Cran GW, Savage JM, Murray LJ (2004) Tracking of physical activity, fitness, body composition and diet from adolescence to young adulthood: the Young hearts project, Northern Ireland. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 1:14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Monyeki KD, Kemper HC, Makgae PJ (2009) Development and tracking of central patterns of subcutaneous fat of rural South African youth: Ellisras longitudinal study. BMC Pediatr 9:74–82PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefania Toselli
    • 1
  • Patricia Brasili
    • 2
  • Rocco Di Michele
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy, Biotechnology, and Sport SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations