194831 Targeting prenatal care in an effort to reduce childhood obesity

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rebecca L. Utz, PhD , Sociology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Norman J. Waitzman, PhD , Economics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
JaeWhan Kim, PhD , Economics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Eric N. Reither, PhD , Sociology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Recent studies have suggested that there may be a link between prenatal care and lower odds of obesity among offspring. The purpose of this analysis is twofold: 1) to document the effects of prenatal care on adolescent obesity, within the context of other birth, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics that may confound the relationship, and 2) to determine which ethnic and socioeconomic subgroups prenatal care has the most protective benefit. Data for this analysis come from the Utah Population Database, a clearinghouse of genealogically-linked administrative records for persons living in Utah. The analytic sample consisted of 15,368 persons born in 1990 followed for up to seventeen years. Logistic regressions were run on the odds of obesity, based on self-reported weight and height from driver's license, controlling for prenatal covariate information from the child's official birth certificate. Timely and consistent prenatal care was associated with significantly lower odds of being overweight (OR=0.85) or obese (OR=0.84) as an adolescent. The initiation of prenatal care was most common among Caucasian women and those with higher education, while the receipt of prenatal care was most protective for the children of Hispanic and black mothers. These results reinforce the importance of prenatal care. In an effort to reduce the intergenerational transmission of obesity, early initiation of prenatal care ought to be a dominant public health message, but perhaps targeted especially to those racial and ethnic minority groups most at risk for obesity.

Learning Objectives:
To evaluate the role of prenatal care (and/or prenatal exposures) on a child's subsequent risk of obesity To identify which subgroups (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities) prenatal care ought to be targeted in order to reduce the risk of childhood obesity

Keywords: Obesity, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I, along with my co-authors, analyzed the data mentioned in the abstract. I received a PhD in sociology/demography from the University of Utah (2004), where I first developed my research interests in obesity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.