Skip to main content
Log in

Pediatrics

Tracking of thinness and overweight in children of Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan and South Asian descent from 3 through 15 years of age: a historical cohort study

  • Article
  • Published:
International Journal of Obesity Submit manuscript

Abstract

Background

Overweight is shown to track (= to maintain a relative position in a distribution) from childhood to adulthood, but is mostly studied in preobesogenic cohorts and in single ethnic groups. Little is known about tracking of thinness by ethnicity.

Objectives

to determine (differences in) tracking of BMI (class) from 3 through 15 years and the prediction of BMI class at 13–15 years of age in contemporary Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan and South Asian children living in the Netherlands.

Methods

Historical cohort of 7625 children, born 1994–1997, with 24,376 measurements of BMI. BMI z-score and BMI class was analysed using universal criteria. South Asian children were also assessed using ethnic specific BMI criteria. Diagnostic odds ratios (OR) and test properties were calculated to estimate the ability of BMI class at 3–4 years to predict BMI class at 13–15 years.

Results

Tracking of thinness between 3 and 15 years was stronger than that of overweight, as indicated by a generally higher diagnostic OR. BMI trajectories between 3 and 15 years of age of thin, normal weight and overweight adolescents were, although significantly different, quite similarly shaped in children of Dutch, Turkish and Moroccan descent. The South Asian BMI trajectory deviated considerably from the other ethnic groups, but the differences disappeared when South Asian specific BMI criteria were applied. A substantial proportion of overweight developed between 5–10 years, after which less children shifted to other BMI classes. A total of 55–78% of children with overweight at 3–4 years retained their overweight at 13–15 years, and 10–20% of 3–4 year olds with thinness remained thin.

Conclusions

In all ethnic groups, overweight and especially thinness highly tracked into adolescence. South Asian children differed from the other ethnic groups when universal BMI criteria were applied, but with South Asian specific BMI criteria tracking patterns became more concordant.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Ebbeling CB, Pawlak DB, Ludwig DS. Childhood obesity: public-health crisis, common sense cure. Lancet. 2002;360:473–82.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Wang Y, Lobstein T. Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2006;1:11–25.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Friedemann C, Heneghan C, Mahtani K, Thompson M, Perera R, Ward AM. Cardiovascular disease risk in healthy children and its association with body mass index: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2012;345:e4759.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Flynn MA, McNeil DA, Maloff B, Mutasingwa D, Wu M, Ford C, et al. Reducing obesity and related chronic disease risk in children and youth: a synthesis of evidence with ‘best practice’ recommendations. Obes Rev. 2006;7(Suppl 1):7–66.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Waters E, de Silva-Sanigorski A, Hall BJ, Brown T, Campbell KJ, Gao Y et al. Interventions for preventing obesity in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011: CD001871.

  6. Olds T, Maher C, Zumin S, Peneau S, Lioret S, Castetbon K, et al. Evidence that the prevalence of childhood overweight is plateauing: data from nine countries. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011;6:342–60.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Rokholm B, Baker JL, Sorensen TI. The levelling off of the obesity epidemic since the year 1999--a review of evidence and perspectives. Obes Rev. 2010;11:835–46.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. de Wilde JA, Verkerk PH, Middelkoop BJ. Declining and stabilising trends in prevalence of overweight and obesity in Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan and South Asian children 3-16 years of age between 1999 and 2011 in the Netherlands. Arch Dis Child. 2014;99:46–51.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Schonbeck Y, Talma H, van Dommelen P, Bakker B, Buitendijk SE, Hirasing RA, et al. Increase in prevalence of overweight in Dutch children and adolescents: a comparison of nationwide growth studies in 1980, 1997 and 2009. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e27608.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Foulkes MA, Davis CE. An index for tracking of longitudinal data. Biometrics. 1981;37:439–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Aarestrup J, Bjerregaard LG, Gamborg M, Angquist L, Tjonneland A, Overvad K, et al. Tracking of body mass index from 7 to 69 years of age. Int J Obes. 2016;40:1376–83.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Magarey AM, Daniels LA, Boulton TJ, Cockington RA. Predicting obesity in early adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003;27:505–13.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Power C, Lake JK, Cole TJ. Body mass index and height from childhood to adulthood in the 1958 British born cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66:1094–101.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Singh AS, Mulder C, Twisk JW, van MW, Chinapaw MJ. Tracking of childhood overweight into adulthood: a systematic review of the literature. Obes Rev. 2008;9:474–88.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Andersen LG, Angquist L, Eriksson JG, Forsen T, Gamborg M, Osmond C, et al. Birth weight, childhood body mass index and risk of coronary heart disease in adults: combined historical cohort studies. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e14126.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Whincup PH, Kaye SJ, Owen CG, Huxley R, Cook DG, Anazawa S, et al. Birth weight and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. JAMA. 2008;300:2886–97.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Gunnarsdottir I, Birgisdottir BE, Thorsdottir I, Gudnason V, Benediktsson R. Size at birth and coronary artery disease in a population with high birth weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76:1290–4.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Harder T, Rodekamp E, Schellong K, Dudenhausen JW, Plagemann A. Birth weight and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165:849–57.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. de Kroon ML, Renders CM, van Wouwe JP, van Buuren S, Hirasing RA. The Terneuzen birth cohort: BMI changes between 2 and 6 years correlate strongest with adult overweight. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e9155.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. de Kroon ML, Renders CM, van Wouwe JP, van Buuren S, Hirasing RA. The Terneuzen Birth Cohort: BMI change between 2 and 6 years is most predictive of adult cardiometabolic risk. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e13966.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Baird J, Fisher D, Lucas P, Kleijnen J, Roberts H, Law C. Being big or growing fast: systematic review of size and growth in infancy and later obesity. BMJ. 2005;331:929.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. Freedman DS, Khan LK, Serdula MK, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. Racial differences in the tracking of childhood BMI to adulthood. Obes Res. 2005;13:928–35.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Whincup PH, Gilg JA, Papacosta O, Seymour C, Miller GJ, Alberti KG, et al. Early evidence of ethnic differences in cardiovascular risk: cross sectional comparison of British South Asian and white children. BMJ. 2002;324:635.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  24. Misra A, Khurana L. Obesity-related non-communicable diseases: South Asians vs White Caucasians. Int J Obes. 2011;35:167–87.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. de Wilde JA, Zandbergen-Harlaar S, van Buuren S, Middelkoop BJ. Trends in body mass index distribution and prevalence of thinness, overweight and obesity in two cohorts of Surinamese South Asian children in The Netherlands. Arch Dis Child. 2013;98:280–5.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Hudda MT, Nightingale CM, Donin AS, Fewtrell MS, Haroun D, Lum S, et al. Body mass index adjustments to increase the validity of body fatness assessment in UK Black African and South Asian children. Int J Obes. 2017;41:1048–55.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. de Wilde JA, van Dommelen P, Middelkoop BJ, Verkerk PH. Trends in overweight and obesity prevalence in Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese South Asian children in the Netherlands. Arch Dis Child. 2009;94:795–800.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Netherlands. Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act. Bull Med Ethics. 1999;152:13-8.

  29. Cole TJ, Lobstein T. Extended international (IOTF) body mass index cut-offs for thinness, overweight and obesity. Pediatr Obes. 2012;7:284–94.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. de Wilde JA, van Dommelen P, Middelkoop BJ. Appropriate body mass index cut-offs to determine thinness, overweight and obesity in South asian children in the Netherlands. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e82822.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Newcombe RG. Two-sided confidence intervals for the single proportion: comparison of seven methods. Stat Med. 1998;17:857–72.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Wilson EB. Probable inference, the law of succession, and statistical inference. J Am Stat Assoc. 1927;22:209–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Glas AS, Lijmer JG, Prins MH, Bonsel GJ, Bossuyt PMM. The diagnostic odds ratio: a single indicator of test performance. J Clin Epidemiol. 2003;56:1129–35.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. van Dommelen P, Schonbeck Y, HiraSing RA, van Buuren S. Call for early prevention: prevalence rates of overweight among Turkish and Moroccan children in The Netherlands. Eur J Public Health. 2015;25:828–33.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Fredriks AM, van Buuren S, Sing RA, Wit JM, Verloove-Vanhorick SP. Alarming prevalences of overweight and obesity for children of Turkish, Moroccan and Dutch origin in The Netherlands according to international standards. Acta Paediatr. 2005;94:496–8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Viner RM, Cole TJ, Fry T, Gupta S, Kinra S, McCarthy D, et al. Insufficient evidence to support separate BMI definitions for obesity in children and adolescents from south Asian ethnic groups in the UK. Int J Obes. 2010;34:656–8.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  37. Ge S, Kubota M, Nagai A, Mamemoto K, Kojima C. Retrospective individual tracking of body mass index in obese and thin adolescents back to childhood. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011;20:432–7.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Julia M,Van Weissenbruch MM,Prawirohartono EP,Surjono A,Delemarre-van de Waal HA, Tracking for underweight, overweight and obesity from childhood to adolescence: a 5-year follow-up study in urban Indonesian children. Horm Res. 2008;69:301–6.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. Sachdev HS, Fall CH, Osmond C, Lakshmy R, Dey Biswas SK, Leary SD, et al. Anthropometric indicators of body composition in young adults: relation to size at birth and serial measurements of body mass index in childhood in the New Delhi birth cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82:456–66.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. Johnson W, Choh AC, Lee M, Towne B, Czerwinski SA, Demerath EW. Is infant body mass index associated with adulthood body composition trajectories? An exploratory analysis. Pediatr Obes. 2017;12:10–18.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. de Hoog ML, van Eijsden M, Stronks K, Gemke RJ, Vrijkotte TG. Overweight at age two years in a multi-ethnic cohort (ABCD study): the role of prenatal factors, birth outcomes and postnatal factors. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:611.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  42. Deshmukh-Taskar P, Nicklas TA, Morales M, Yang SJ, Zakeri I, Berenson GS. Tracking of overweight status from childhood to young adulthood: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006;60:48–57.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. Statistics Netherlands. Length and weight of persons, underweight and overweight; from 1981. The Netherlands:The Hague/Heerlen; 2016.

  44. Buscot MJ, Wotherspoon SS, Magnussen CG, Juonala M, Sabin MA, Burgner DP, et al. Bayesian hierarchical piecewise regression models: a tool to detect trajectory divergence between groups in long-term observational studies. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2017;17:86.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  45. Allcock DM, Gardner MJ, Sowers JR. Relation between childhood obesity and adult cardiovascular risk. Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2009;2009:108187.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  46. Umer A, Kelley GA, Cottrell LE, Giacobbi P Jr., Innes KE, Lilly CL. Childhood obesity and adult cardiovascular disease risk factors: a systematic review with meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2017;17:683.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  47. Nightingale CM, Krishnaveni GV, Rudnicka AR, Owen CG, Veena SR, Hill JC, et al. Cardiometabolic risk markers in Indian children: comparison with UK Indian and white European children. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e36236.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank Ron Smit and Marion Groeneveld for their help in retrieving the required data from the youth health care database.

Authors contribution

JAdW, BJCM and PHV conceived the idea for the study. JAdW managed and analysed the data. All authors were involved in writing the paper, and approved of the submitted and published version.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to JA de Wilde.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Wilde, J., Middelkoop, B. & Verkerk, P. Tracking of thinness and overweight in children of Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan and South Asian descent from 3 through 15 years of age: a historical cohort study. Int J Obes 42, 1230–1238 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-018-0135-9

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-018-0135-9

  • Springer Nature Limited

This article is cited by

Navigation