Online Program

Early life exposure to behavioral risk factors of obesity and subsequent weight among preschool-aged children in Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:42 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Roch Nianogo, MD, MPH, PhD(c), Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
May C. Wang, MA, MPH, DrPH, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Aolin Wang, MSc, PhD(c), Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), CA
Tabashir Sadegh-Nobari, MPH, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Catherine Crespi, PhD, Department of Biostatistics, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Shannon E. Whaley, PhD, Research and Evaluation Unit, PHFE-WIC, Irwindale, CA
Onyebuchi Arah, MD, MSc, DSc, MPH, PhD, Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Early weight gain and obesity in children can alter their health trajectory over the life course. Yet, few studies examined the effect of early life weight (as indicated by weight-for-height-Z score [WHZ]) on subsequent WHZ among pre-school-aged children using appropriate methods accounting for time-varying covariates. Additionally, obesity involves multiple risk factors, which taken individually may not be as potent as when they occur concurrently. We used linear regression and the g-formula to estimate the total and joint effect of early WHZ and the total effect of a behavioral risk factor index on end-of-follow-up WHZ. We used data from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Survey data obtained in 2008 were linked to WIC administrative data to follow 1820 low-income preschool-aged children in Los Angeles County from 2008 to 2010.The child’s WHZ in 2010 increased by a mean of 0.53 (95%CI: 0.49; 0.57) as early WHZ (2008) increased one unit. The joint total effect for every one unit increase in the first WHZ measurement (2008) and the subsequent WHZ measurement (2009) on the end-of-follow-up (2010) WHZ is about 0.81 (95%CI: 0.77; 0.86). Watching TV, playing in playgrounds, consuming sugar-sweetened-beverages, eating fruits and vegetables, eating fast-foods did not appear to alter the child’s WHZ at the end-of-follow-up. However, breastfeeding for at least six months was protective (adjusted mean difference -0.16, 95%CI: -0.32; -0.02) as well as having a high score on the behavioral risk factor index (-0.21, 95%CI: -0.34; -0.08). Early weight gain plays an important role in determining subsequent weight. Tackling weight gain and multiple risk factors simultaneously early in life are important strategies for preventing obesity later in life.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List five behavioral risk factors for obesity that can change a child's life trajectory Design a study in which one can assess the long-term effect/association of various behavioral risk factors on obesity risk among children

Keyword(s): Obesity, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am doctoral candidate in Epidemiology and research assistant interested and working in the field of childhood obesity and long-term health health consequences. Additionally, this research is part of my dissertation work. I am also competent in epidemiology methods such as g-methods and systems science.
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.