Early Risk Factors for Obesity in the First 1000 Days—Relationship with Body Fat and BMI at 2 Years
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
(1) Background: Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. Several early developmental factors have been identified which are associated with an increased risk of childhood obesity and increased adiposity in childhood. The primary objective of the present study is to analyse the effect of various early risk factors on Body Mass Index (BMI) and body fat percentage at 2 years of age. (2) Methods: A prospective cohort study design was used, with the sample consisting of 109
... -child pairs from whom data were collected between early pregnancy and 2 years old. Adiposity was determined based on skinfold measurements using the Brooks and Siri formulae. Mean comparison tests (Student's t-test and ANOVAs) and multiple linear regression models were used to analyse the relationship between early programming factors and dependent variables. (3) Results: Maternal excess weight during early pregnancy (β = 0.203, p = 0.026), gestational smoking (β = 0.192, p = 0.036), and accelerated weight gain in the first 2 years (β = − 0.269, p = 0.004) were significantly associated with high body fat percentage. Pre-pregnancy BMI and accelerated weight gain in the first 2 years were associated with high BMI z-score (β = 0.174, p = 0.047 and β = 0.417, p = 0.000 respectively). The cumulative effect of these variables resulted in high values compared to the baseline zero-factor group, with significant differences in BMI z-score (F = 8.640, p = 0.000) and body fat percentage (F = 5.402, p = 0.002) when three factors were present. (4) Conclusions: The presence of several early risk factors related to obesity in infancy was significantly associated with higher BMI z-score and body fat percentage at 2 years of age. The presence of more than one of these variables was also associated with higher adiposity at 2 years of age. Early prevention strategies should address as many of these factors as possible.