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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF EARLY DIETARY FACTORS ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Child obesity and motor development delays

Authors
item Andres, Aline -
item Chiaro, Carrie -
item Xinyu, Tang -
item Casey, Patrick -
item Bellando, Jayne -
item BADGER, THOMAS

Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Citation: Andres, A., Chiaro, C., Xinyu, T., Casey, P., Bellando, J., Badger, T.M. 2012. Child obesity and motor development delays. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 26 (Meeting Abstracts):374.5.

Interpretive Summary: Childhood obesity has been associated with delays in motor development. To study this further, percent body fat and motor development were assessed in children ages 3 to 24 months. Included were 455 children with a total of 1882 longitudinal observations. The data obtained confirm that overweight children have statistically lower motor development scores. Despite the statistical significance of these results, absolute differences in motor scores between lean and overweight children were very small, and thus the clinical significance and level of concern during the first 2 years of life may be negligible.

Technical Abstract: Childhood obesity has been associated with delays in motor development using weight-for-length z-scores and subcutaneous fat. To study this further, percent body fat and motor development were assessed in children ages 3 to 24 months. Included were 455 children with a total of 1882 longitudinal observations. Standard anthropometric measures and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans were used to evaluate growth and measure body fat mass. The motor scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II was used to assess motor development at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months. Overweight children were significantly more likely to have a lower motor development score at a subsequent assessment compared to lean children (P=0.01). Additionally, children with higher fat mass were significantly more likely to have lower motor scores at the time of the body composition measures as well as at a subsequent assessment of motor development (P=0.02 and P=0.03, respectively). These data confirm that overweight children have statistically lower motor development scores. Despite the statistical significance of these results, absolute differences in motor scores between lean and overweight children were very small (0.7 at 3 mo, 1.9 at 6 mo, 2.0 at 9 mo, 0.4 at 12 mo, 4.5 at 24 mo), and thus the clinical significance and level of concern during the first 2 years of life may be negligible.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014