February 1985

Two-Decade Follow-up of Fatness in Early Childhood

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Human Growth and Development (Drs Garn and LaVelle) and the School of Public Health (Dr Garn), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr LaVelle is now with the Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(2):181-185. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140040083033

• As shown in our study of 383 infants and preschool children followed through early adulthood, there is some evidence that obese children are more likely to be obese as adults. Though skinfold correlations over a two-decade period were low, averaging 0.14 for both sexes, 26% of Initially obese preschool children were still obese two decades later as against 15% that would be expected by chance. The risk ratio was thus 1.77. Examined in the context of the family, the fatness levels of siblings, parents and grandparents help to identify obese children for whom early intervention is indicated and the larger number of obese preschoolers who do not become obese adults.

(AJDC 1985;139:181-185)