Does the association between early life growth and later obesity differ by race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status? A systematic review

Sarah B. Andrea, Elizabeth R. Hooker, Lynne C. Messer, Thomas Tandy, Janne Boone-Heinonen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Rapid growth during infancy predicts higher risk of obesity later in childhood. The association between patterns of early life growth and later obesity may differ by race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status (SES), but prior evidence syntheses do not consider vulnerable subpopulations. Methods We systemically reviewed published studies that explored patterns of early life growth (0–24 months of age) as predictors of later obesity (>24 months) that were either conducted in racial/ethnic minority or low-SES study populations or assessed effect modification of this association by race/ethnicity or SES. Literature searches were conducted in PubMed and SocINDEX. Results Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Faster growth during the first 2 years of life was consistently associated with later obesity irrespective of definition and timing of exposure and outcome measures. Associations were strongest in populations composed of greater proportions of racial/ethnic minority and/or low-SES children. For example, ORs ranged from 1.17 (95% CI: 1.11, 1.24) in a heterogeneous population to 9.24 (95% CI: 3.73, 22.9) in an entirely low-SES nonwhite population. Conclusions The impact of rapid growth in infancy on later obesity may differ by social stratification factors such as race/ethnicity and family income. More robust and inclusive studies examining these associations are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-592.e5
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Continental population groups
  • Ethnic groups
  • Growth and development
  • Infant
  • Overweight
  • Review [Publication type]
  • Social environment
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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