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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


KAIN, Juliana et al. Association between body mass index (BMI) and height from birth to 5 years in Chilean preschool children. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2011, vol.139, n.5, pp.606-612. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: It has been shown that excess weight gain during childhood is associated with a greater risk of obesity; this relationship may be mediated by growth in height. Aim: To quantify the associations between z scores for body mass index (BMIZ) and height for age (HAZ) from birth to 5 years of age and to assess how this association varies according to age and adiposity. Material and Methods: Weight and height were recorded at 11 occasions from birth on a cohort of1089 Chilean five year-old children with a birth weight > 2500 g. BMI, BMIZ, HAZ and prevalence of obesity were calculated. We determined the cross-sectional association between BMIZ and HAZ for the total sample and by 3 BMI Z categories, using Pearson correlation. We determined the probability of obesity according to four HAZ categories. Results: Obesity increased continuously reaching approximately 16% at 5 years. Stunting was virtually nonexistent. No association between BMIZ and HAZ was observed at birth, while at 1 and 2 months, leaner infants had lower stature. No association between theseparameters was observed between 6-24 months, while after 3 years, a clear relationship was observed. Conclusions: The probability of a preschool child of being obese is less than 10% with a HAZ is < 0. Nevertheless, children with heights above the median (even within the normal range) have an increased risk of obesity, especially after 3 y of age. Between 0-5 years, the relationship between weight and height varies by age and adiposity.

Keywords : Body height; Body mass index; Child, preschool.

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