Examining the potential application of childhood stature in assessing adolescent overweight and obesity
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Background: Increasing Overweight and Obesity (OwOb) prevalence in pediatric populations is becoming a public health concern in many countries. The purpose of this study was to determine if childhood stature components, particularly the Leg Length Index (LLI = [height - sitting height]! height), were useful in assessing risk of OwOb in adolescence. Methods: Data was from a longitudinal study conducted in south Ontario since 2004. Approximately 2360 students had body composition measurements including sitting height and standing height at baseline. Among them, 1167 children (573 girls, 594 boys) who had weight and height measured at the 5 th year follow-up, were included in this analysis. OwOb was defined using age and sex specific BMI (kg!m 2 ) cut-off points corresponding to adults' BMI ~ 25. Results: Overall, 34% (n=298) of adolescents were considered as OwOb. The results from logistic regression analysis indicated that with 1 unit increase in LLI the odds of OwOb decreased 24% (Odds Ratio, [95% Confidence Interval], 0.76, [0.66-0.87]) after adjusted for age, sex and baseline waist circumference. Further adjusting for birth weight, birth order, breastfeeding, child's physical activity, maternal smoking, education, mother's age at birth and mother's BMI, did not change the relationship. Our results also indicated that mother's smoking status is associated with LLI. Discussion: Although LLI measured at childhood in this study is related to OwOb risk in adolescents, the underlying mechanism is unclear and further study is needed.