To evaluate the associations of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (pp-BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) with the childhood BMI z-score (BMI-z) trajectories from birth to 2 years old and the risk of overweight/obesity (OWO) at 2 years of age.
Mother–child dyads (23,617) were involved in the analysis. They were followed up from early pregnancy to 2 years postpartum with their healthcare data recorded in the Wuhan Maternal and Child Health Management Information System (WMCHMIS). The OWO in children was defined as BMI-z > 1. Linear mixed models (LMM) and unconditional logistic regression were used to evaluate the independent and joint associations of pp-BMI and GWG with the BMI-z trajectory of children per their anthropometric measurements at 0, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months old and the risk of OWO at 2 years of age.
Maternal overweight/obesity and excessive GWG independently and jointly increased the risks of their offspring falling into high BMI-z trajectories of birth to 2 years (p < 0.001). In addition, the children whose mothers were overweight/obese before pregnancy and gained excessive weight during pregnancy independently and jointly increased the OWO risk in children at age 2, with adjusted odds ratios (adjOR) of 1.36 (95% CI, 1.22–1.53), 1.28 (95% CI, 1.18–1.39), and 1.76 (95% CI: 1.52–2.03), respectively.
Maternal prepregnancy overweight/obesity and excessive GWG can independently and jointly increase the risks of their children falling into high BMI-z trajectories from birth to 2 years of age and becoming overweight/obese at age 2. Maternal overweight/obesity and excessive gestational weight should be the prime targets for early obese prevention efforts.
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We extend our sincere thanks to the healthcare staff from the Wuhan Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital that provided support for data collection. We also greatly appreciate the participants included in this study.
The authors declare no competing interests.
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Wuhan Children’s Hospital (Wuhan Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital), Tongji Medical College, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (No. 2020R025-E01).
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Chang, R., Mei, H., Zhang, Y. et al. Early childhood body mass index trajectory and overweight/obesity risk differed by maternal weight status. Eur J Clin Nutr (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-021-00975-6