Big infants at greater risk of later obesity

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Body mass index Obesity

Large infants, and those who grow rapidly during the first two
years of life, are at increased risk of obesity in childhood and
adulthood, finds a new study out on Friday.

Currently health officials are attempting to better monitor the diets of school-age children to stem the rise in overweight. But the new study suggests that public health campaigns may need to focus on obesity prevention among children even earlier.

Dr Janis Baird, at the University of Southampton in the UK and colleagues analysed 24 studies which assessed the relation between infant size and growth and the development of obesity at any later age.

The heaviest infants, those with the highest body mass index, and those who gained weight rapidly during the first and second year of life, were more likely to be obese in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood than other infants, they report in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal​ (doi:10.1136/bmj.38586.411273.EO).

Out of 18 that assessed the relation between infant size and subsequent obesity, those who had been obese had a relative risk for subsequent obesity of between 1.35 and 9.38.

In the 10 studies looking at the relation of infant growth with subsequent obesity, most showed that infants who grew more rapidly were at increased risk of obesity. Compared with other infants, in infants with rapid growth odds ratios and relative risks of later obesity ranged from 1.17 to 5.70.

Future studies should investigate what determines these patterns of growth, and to explore whether interventions to alter infant growth could be associated with other benefits or harms, write the authors.

A major trial on European children is currently looking at how early childhood diet can reduce the risk of obesity in later life.

Baird's team says it will also be important to assess whether factors influencing infant growth are amenable to change and acceptable to parents.

Related news

Related products

HRB probiotics in the HMO era

HRB probiotics in the HMO era

Content provided by Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. | 29-Apr-2024 | White Paper

Discover the science behind human-residential bifidobacteria (HRB) probiotics and their superior benefits for infants.

4 reasons children need MFGM, according to science

4 reasons children need MFGM, according to science

Content provided by Valio | 29-Sep-2023 | White Paper

In this white paper, Dr Anu Turpeinen discusses the ample scientific evidence showing why milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) is essential for children’s...

Introducing a new era in infant nutrition

Introducing a new era in infant nutrition

Content provided by dsm-firmenich | 01-Sep-2023 | Research Study

Omega-3s are critical to infant health and development – but conventional omega-3 ingredients are impacting the planet.

Solutions of Amino Acids-Based Infant Formula

Solutions of Amino Acids-Based Infant Formula

Content provided by INNOBIO Corporation Limited | 22-Jun-2023 | White Paper

Many infants who are born with nutritional defects often need specifically developed infant formulas to maintain their growth and development. Amino acids-based...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more