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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2010, Article ID 580642, 6 pages
Research Article

Overweight among Four-Year-Old Children in Relation to Early Growth Characteristics and Socioeconomic Factors

1Sahlgrenska School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Primary Health Care, University of Gothenburg, Box 454, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
2The Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Göteborg, Paediatric Growth Research Centre, Department of Paediatrics, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Smörslottsgatan, 41685 Gothenburg, Sweden

Received 9 November 2009; Accepted 5 January 2010

Academic Editor: Alfredo Halpern

Copyright © 2010 Jörgen Thorn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To assess early growth characteristics and socioeconomic factors of children in relation to body mass index (BMI) and presence of overweight among four-year-old children. Methods. Two Child Health Centres (CHC) participated in the study. They were selected to obtain two populations of children featuring divergent socio-economic characteristics. Growth data registered at the CHCs from birth to the 4-year check-up were recovered. Overweight was defined by the BMI cut-offs established by IOTF. BMI values expressed as BMI standard deviation score (BMISDS) were used for analysis. Results. At the 4-year check-up, the BMISDS and the proportion of children with overweight (including the obese) were significantly higher in the district with lower socio-economic status. High BMI at birth and low socio-economic status of the population in the CHC-district were shown to be independent determinants for overweight and BMISDS at four years of age. Conclusions. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms and how intervention programs should be designed in order to prevent the development of overweight and obesity in children.