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Low and high birth weight as risk factors for obesity among 4 to 5 year old Australian children : does gender matter?
journal contributionposted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Oldroyd, Andre Renzaho, Helen Skouteris
Studies testing whether birth weight and childhood obesity differ by gender are lacking. We aimed to describe the relationship between birth weight and childhood overweight/obesity and investigate the influence that gender has on this relationship among 4 to 5-year-old children. We performed a secondary analysis of an Australian nationally representative cross-sectional study in 4 to 5-year-old children. The main outcome measure was child overweight and obesity. We found that low birth weight (LBW) was associated with lower risk of overweight/obesity among girls at 4–5 years before (OR 0.50, 95%CI 0.32, 0.77) and after adjusting for socio-demographic factors (OR 0.51 95%CI 0.33, 0.80) and ethnicity (OR 0.52, 95%CI 0.33, 0.81) but was not associated with child overweight/obesity among boys before or after adjustment. High birth weight (HBW) was associated with a higher risk of overweight/obesity among both girls (adjusted OR: 1.76, 95%CI 1.12, 2.78) and boys (adjusted OR: 2.42 95% CI 2.06, 2.86). Conclusion: There are gender differences in the association of birth weight with child overweight/obesity. HBW was associated with a higher risk of child overweight/obesity in boys and girls before and after adjustment for socio-demographic factors. However, LBW was associated with a lower risk of child overweight/obesity in girls but not in boys. These gender differences need to be considered when planning interventions to reduce child overweight/obesity.