Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1090–1101 | Cite as

Trajectory of Adolescent Obesity: Exploring the Impact of Prenatal to Childhood Experiences

  • David Y. C. HuangEmail author
  • H. Isabella Lanza
  • M. Douglas Anglin
Original Paper


This study examined longitudinal associations of prenatal exposures as well as childhood familial experiences with obesity status from ages 10 to 18. Hierarchical generalized linear modeling was applied to examine 5,156 adolescents from the child sample of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Higher maternal weight, maternal smoking during pregnancy, lower maternal education, and lack of infant breastfeeding were contributors to elevated adolescent obesity risk in early adolescence. However, maternal age, high birth weight of child, and maternal annual income exhibited long-lasting impact on obesity risk over time throughout adolescence. Additionally, childhood familial experiences were significantly related to risk of adolescent obesity. Appropriate use of family rules in the home and parental engagement in children’s daily activities lowered adolescent obesity risk, but excessive television viewing heightened adolescent obesity risk. Implementation of consistent family rules and parental engagement may benefit adolescents at risk for obesity.


Adolescence Familial experiences Obesity Prenatal risk exposure Smoking 



This study is supported by Grant Number R03HD064619 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and partially supported by the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Advancing Longitudinal Drug Abuse Research (CALDAR) under Grant P30DA016383 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of California, Los Angeles, Drug Abuse Research Training Center sponsored by NIDA (5T32DA007272-19).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Y. C. Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Isabella Lanza
    • 1
  • M. Douglas Anglin
    • 1
  1. 1.Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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