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Longitudinal study of body weight changes in children: who is gaining and who is losing weight.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Obesity
1930-739X
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Volume
19
Issue
3
Pages
667–670
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/oby.2010.221
PMID: 20885393
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cross-sectional studies have reported significant temporal increases in prevalence of childhood obesity in both genders and various racial groups, but recently the rise has subsided. Childhood obesity prevention trials suggest that, on average, overweight/obese children lose body weight and nonoverweight children gain weight. This investigation tested the hypothesis that overweight children lose body weight/fat and nonoverweight children gain body weight/fat using a longitudinal research design that did not include an obesity prevention program. The participants were 451 children in 4th to 6th grades at baseline. Height, weight, and body fat were measured at month 0 and month 28. Each child's BMI percentile score was calculated specific for their age, gender and height. Higher BMI percentile scores and percent body fat at baseline were associated with larger decreases in BMI and percent body fat after 28 months. The BMI percentile mean for African-American girls increased whereas BMI percentile means for white boys and girls and African-American boys were stable over the 28-month study period. Estimates of obesity and overweight prevalence were stable because incidence and remission were similar. These findings support the hypothesis that overweight children tend to lose body weight and nonoverweight children tend to gain body weight.

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