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Know if your baby will gain weight by age four

Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 12:54 PM
New York, March 12 , 2015: Measuring body mass index (BMI) during infancy may help to predict if a child will be obese by age four, says a study.

The findings suggest that understanding of infant growth patterns may lead to more effective early efforts at obesity prevention.

As a measure that includes both weight and height, BMI is an approximation of body fat content.

"We also analysed ancestry-based differences in growth patterns and found differences that were apparent as early as nine months of age were ultimately related to childhood obesity risk," said study leader Shana McCormack, pediatric endocrinologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

The current study analysed the electronic health records of 2,114 healthy infants in Philadelphia.

"We investigated whether BMI in infants could be used as a tool to identify children at increased risk of future obesity, in order to develop better prevention strategies," McCormack noted.

The current study analysed the electronic health records of 2,114 healthy Philadelphia-area infants, as part of a larger study conducted by CHOP's Center for Applied Genomics.

Sixty-one percent of the children in the study cohort were African-American, a population that, according to national estimates, has high rates of obesity and diabetes in adulthood.

The research team identified significantly different growth trajectories between African-American infants and infants of European ancestry.
Agency: IANS

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