Childhood obesity numbers are on the rise. Researchers from the School of Community Health at the University of Nottingham recently completed a study attempting to find a connection between weight predictors in infancy and prevalence of weight challenges in childhood. The results of the study were published in the journal Pediatrics.

Data collected as part of the UK Millennium Cohort were used for the study. Researchers pinpointed seven factors that likely attributed to childhood weight issues by three years of age. These factors were used to develop a risk assessment model scoring infants on a scale of 0 to 59 with equivalent risk factor percentages of 4.1% and 73.8% on opposite ends of the scale.

Using the risk scoring system, researchers were able to retrospectively predict weight challenges in children in 88% of cases. The scoring system could be a beneficial tool for predicting risk of weight challenges based on risk factors recognizable in infancy. Doctors can focus education and prevention tactics on infants at increased risk of facing weight challenges.

Source: Weng SF, Redsell SA, Nathan D, Swift JA, Yang M, Glazebrook C. Estimating Overweight Risk in Childhood From Predictors During Infancy. Pediatrics. 2013 Jul 15.

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