Body Mass Transitions in Childhood and Early Adolescence: A Multistate Life Table Approach

Melanie Tran, University of Colorado, Denver
Patrick M. Krueger, University of Colorado, Denver
Emily McCormick, Denver Public Health
Arthur Davidson, Denver Public Health
Deborah Main, University of Colorado, Denver

Prevalence estimates offer little insight into the rate of new cases of overweight or obesity, or the rate of “recovery” (i.e., transition to lower body masses). We estimate the number of years children can expect to spend in various BMI statuses between ages 3 through 15, by race/ethnicity and sex. Children who are normal weight at age 3 can expect to spend 11.1 of the following 13 years in the normal weight status, and children who are obese at age 3 can expect to spend 9.8 years in the obese status. But, being overweight at age 3 is less “sticky”: children who are overweight at age 3 can expect to spend 4.4 years being normal weight and 3.4 years being obese . We also find substantial race/ethnic disparities: whites and Asians tend to gravitate toward lower BMI statuses, whereas blacks and Hispanics tend to gravitate toward higher BMI statues.

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Presented in Session 9: Overweight, Obesity, and Health