The development trajectory of overweight and obesity in American children and adolescents (interaction with social development)

  • Chuanxi Zhao
  • Jiajun Li
  • Shaojian Li
Keywords: Adolescence obesity, Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM), perinatal environment, maternal weight, smoking in pregnancy, designing preventive interventions.


Background: The high prevalence rate of childhood and adolescence obesity has thrown a global threat over the past few decades. This situation has propelled the scientists towards searching for the definite biological and social factors resulting in obesity so that a stable and appropriate preventive strategies can be established in early life.

Objective: The objective of this study was to detect subgroups showing segmental developing phases in the course of life with distinctive weight gain trajectories and identifying the probable reasons behind this onset of obesity in childhood & early adulthood.

Methods: The child survey was mediated by a group of trained interviewers to assess &evaluate each child with their mothers and their family’s environment. Mothers were thoroughly informed and the consent papers were signed by them moreover willingness from children were also recorded. For statistical analysis, the Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM) method (developed using HLM software) was applied to study longitudinal effect on developmental obesity trajectory.

Results: Results clearly indicate that maternal obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption in pregnancy directly exert effect on growing trajectory of BMI. These responses are the important proof of the perinatal environment influencing the onset of obesity. The findings say, characteristics of environment, genetic factors may contribute, but excessive maternal weight and smoking in pregnancy are important predictor of childhood and adolescent obesity. Smoking of mother is suspected to limit the growth of the foetus which leads to low birth weight, which causes uncontrolled and fast development and thus obesity occurs, known as compensatory rapid postnatal growth.

Discussion: High maternal weight, maternal smoking am alcohol consumption in pregnancy, low educational qualification of the mother and lack of breastfeeding in infant were factors contributing in elevating the onset of childhood and adolescent obesity.

Conclusion: The outcomes of this study clearly allude that these advance risk factors must be controlled and thus these must be taken in account while designing preventive interventions.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1021-6790