Relationship between birth weight and overweight/obesity among students in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil: a retrospective cohort study

Relação entre peso ao nascer e sobrepeso/obesidade em estudantes de Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil: estudo de coorte retrospectivo

Camila Elizandra Rossi Francisco de Assis Guedes de Vasconcelos About the authors


Being born heavier than 4 kg is associated with current overweight and obesity over the long term. The objective here was to ascertain whether birth weight was related to overweight or obese status, among 7 to 14-year-old schoolchildren, taking into consideration the possible interactions between socioeconomic factors and other biological variables.


Retrospective cohort study on a probabilistic sample of 2,696 children and adolescents living in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.


The following data were collected: anthropometric (student's weight, height and age; and parents' weight and height), socioeconomic (family income, number of people in house and parental schooling level), birth weight and gestational age. Overweight and obesity were classified using percentiles of body mass index and triceps and subscapular skinfolds. The outcome variables were overweight and obesity and the main explanatory variables were birth weight and birth weight according to gestational age. The control variables were the parents' nutritional status, their schooling level and theper capita family income. Poisson multivariate regressions were carried out.


Higher prevalence of high birth weight was observed among overweight male adolescents (PR = 1.14; 95% CI = 1.02-1.27; P = 0.03), but this was not observed among obese male adolescents. Low birth weight and being born small for gestational age were also not associated with the outcomes. Among overweight and obese children, birth weight was not significantly different from that of normal-weight children.


No significant association between birth weight and obesity was observed. However, there was a weak but significant association between high birth weight and overweight, among male adolescents.

Child; Adolescent; Birth weight; Overweight; Obesity

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