Background: There are limited data regarding the associations of both maternal and paternal anthropometrics with longitudinally measured post-natal growth measures in early childhood. Objective: To assess the associations of maternal and paternal anthropometrics with growth characteristics and the risk of overweight in pre-school children. Study design: Population-based prospective cohort study from early foetal life onwards in the Netherlands. Methods: Maternal pre-pregnancy anthropometrics and gestational weight gain, and paternal anthropometrics were related to foetal and post-natal growth measures and the risk of overweight until the age of 4 years. Analyses were based on 5674 mothers, fathers and their children. Results: Both pre-pregnancy maternal and paternal height, weight and body mass index were associated with corresponding foetal and post-natal anthropometric measures. Maternal body mass index had a significantly stronger effect on childhood body mass index than paternal body mass index. As compared to children from parents with normal body mass index, children from two obese parents had an increased risk of overweight at the age of 4 years (odds ratio 6.52 (95% confidence interval 3.44, 12.38). Maternal gestational weight gain was only among mothers with normal body mass index associated with body mass index and the risk of overweight in the children. Conclusion: Maternal and paternal anthropometrics affect early growth in pre-school children differently. Gestational weight gain in mothers without overweight and obesity is related to the risk of overweight in early childhood.

Childhood overweight, Cohort studies, Epidemiology, Parental anthropometry,
Pediatric Obesity
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Durmus, B, Arends, L.R, Ay, L, Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S, Raat, H, Hofman, A, … Jaddoe, V.W.V. (2013). Parental anthropometrics, early growth and the risk of overweight in pre-school children: The Generation R Study. Pediatric Obesity, 8(5), 339–350. doi:10.1111/j.I2047T-6310.201Y2.00114.x