261990 Risk Factors Associated With Developmental Trajectories of Overweight During Middle Childhood

Monday, October 29, 2012

Laura Pryor, MSc, BSW, BSc , Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Mara Brendgen, PhD , Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Richard Tremblay, PhD , Research unit on children's psychosocial malajustment, University of Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Xuecheng Liu, PhD , Research unit on children's psychosocial maladjustment, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Lise Dubois, DtP, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Evelyne Touchette, PhD , Department of Psychology, Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment, Québec, QC, Canada
Bruno Falissard, MD, PhD , U669- Paris Sud Innovation Group in Adolescent Mental Health, National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Paris, France
Michel Boivin, PhD , Université Laval, Department of Psychology, Québec, QC, Canada
Sylvana Côté, PhD , Research unit on children's psychosocial maladjustment, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada

Longitudinal studies that examine the developmental paths leading to overweight in childhood as well as their associated early risk factors are needed to improve early obesity prevention efforts.


Data was drawn from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (1998-2010), a population-based birth cohort study in the province of Québec, Canada. Children's height and weight were measured yearly, and mothers reported on child, mother and family characteristics. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Group-based trajectories of the probability of being overweight according to international criteria during middle childhood (6-12 years) were identified with a semiparametric modeling method (n= 1678). Bivariate analyses were used to examine how early risk factors were distributed across trajectory groups. Multinomial logistic regression analyses will follow to establish the relative contribution of each predictor and potential interaction effects.


Three trajectories of overweight were identified: “low-stable” (71.4%), “increasing” (17.4%) and “high-stable” (11.2%). The high-stable group was composed of children who were overweight throughout the assessment period, whereas the BMI of the “increasing” group began to rise at approximately age 7.

Preliminary analyses suggest that child birthweight, past overweight, mental health symptoms, sleep duration, television viewing hours, parental BMI and smoking during pregnancy, and family socioeconomic status distinguish trajectory group membership.


The development of overweight in childhood seems to follow an early or late-onset pathway, with distinct risk factors for each. Identifying these will aid in the development of more effective early preventive interventions.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Name important early life risk factors for childhood obesity. 2. Discuss the potential for tracking of overweight from early to middle childhood. 3. Identify the SAS Proc traj program as a tool for modelling developmental trajectories in lifecourse research.

Keywords: Obesity, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student who, following a masters degree in community health with a focus on the perinatal risk factors for childhood obesity, has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to pursue this topic in middle childhood, as well as to examine potential associations with other aspects of childrens lives, such as peer victimization and mental health problems.
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.