Relationship Between Characteristics of Children at Birth and the Percentage of Children Obese (BMI ≥95th Percentile) at Various Preschool Ages

Characteristic at Birth2-Year-Olds (24–35 Months; n = 7188)3-Year-Olds (36–47 Months; n = 6438)4-Year Olds (48–59 Months; n = 5401)
% ObeseP Value*% ObeseP Value*% ObeseP Value*
Maternal BMI<.001<.001<.001
 <18.5 kg/m22.54.44.7
 18.5–24.9 kg/m26.47.59.0
 25–29.9 kg/m29.012.014.5
 30–39.9 kg/m213.919.722.8
 ≥40 kg/m219.424.028.8
Birth weight for gestational age<.001<.001<.001
 Small (<10th percentile)
 Appropriate (10–89th percentile)9.112.614.7
 Large (≥90th percentile)20.521.225.6
Race/ethnicity (mother).03.08.59
 First-born child10.113.615.6
 Not a first-born child9.011.514.0
Smoking in pregnancy.03.28.51
Pregnancy weight gain§.003.0010.15
 Quartile 1 (lowest)11.214.415.9
 Quartile 27.510.412.9
 Quartile 39.511.014.3
 Quartile 4 (highest)9.613.615.2
Birth year.06.10.24
Maternal education.47.23.08
 <High school9.614.414.2
 Some high school9.411.713.5
 High school10.013.315.9
 Some college8.411.013.2
 College or beyond7.213.619.8
Marital status.64.58.53
 Not married9.712.715.1
Maternal age.08.05.05
 <18 y7.19.311.6
 18–24 y9.312.314.4
 25–29 y10.613.916.7
 ≥30 y10.013.115.4
  • * P value for χ2 test.

  • Measured in the first trimester of child’s gestation.

  • Mutually exclusive categories where the “Hispanic” category includes those of any race listing “Hispanic” ethnicity.

  • § Net rate of pregnancy weight gain (maternal weight gain − birth weight/length of gestation).