Overweight and obesity in twenty-year-old Swedes in relation to birthweight and weight development during childhood

Acta Pediatrica, 05/02/2012

Fahraeus C et al. – The majority of those who were overweight/obese at 20 years of age were recruited after 5.5 years of age, and half of them in their late teens. Thus, during the preschool period, the entire population should be the target of primary prevention from overweight/obesity and, in the case of teenagers, prevention strategies should be developed for the whole population as well as treatment strategies for teenagers with established overweight/obesity.

Methods

  • A longitudinal, population-based study, which followed 496 children from birth to 20 years of age.
  • Information about weight and height was collected from health records at child health centres and school health care.
  • At 20 years of age, weight and height measurements were taken by one of the authors.

Results

  • At 20 years of age, 124 (25%) of the youth were obese or overweight.
  • Of these youths, 60% had normal weight at 5.5 years.
  • Of the teenagers who were overweight/obese at 15 years, 79% remained overweight/obese at 20 years of age.
  • Out of the 124 overweight/obese at 20, 47% had normal weight at 15 years. [Corrections added after online publication on April 18, 2012: ‘Out of the 124 obese at 20’ has been changed to ‘Out of the 124 overweight/obese at 20’].

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