Cohort Study on Risk Factors for Obesity in Childhood Essay

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A growing pool of evidence points to the fact that chronic ailments such as obesity commence at life’s early stages. Early childhood facets and the intrauterine atmosphere potentially play a role in adulthood obesity onset via several pathways like prenatal diet, fetal metabolic programing, postnatal development, breast-feeding, infancy/toddlerhood behavior and adiposity rebound. The life-course theory’s abstract foundation stresses illness and health’s developmental origins, concentrating especially on long-run health impacts of fetal and babyhood exposures (Hu, 2008).

Of late, one can witness the alarming issue of the childhood obesity pandemic. It is alarming due to the fact that it has short- as well as long- run negative impacts. Risk factor determination forms the main solution to preventing it. While scant literature on childhood obesity risk factors can be found, experts are becoming increasingly aware of the significance of early life settings. However, hardly any risk factor identified is proven; most are only potential (Reilly et al. 2005).


This research work intends to determine and quantify obesity-related risk factors in case of seven-year-olds enrolled in ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children). It deals with a huge current cohort wherein confounding factors are taken into consideration and likely risk factors concurrently examined. Only a priori suppositions-substantiated risk factors are considered for the research (Reilly et al. 2005).

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The ALSPAC represents a longitudinal birth-based cohort research of factors governing growth, well-being and illness, in childhood and further life stages. Roughly five-hundred prenatal females will be approached for participation, with their babies constituting the initial cohort. Informed consent will be acquired from parents, in writing. Information will be acquired via parent questionnaires, biological samples and health records. A random subsample of participant children between the ages of four months and five years (participating from half a year previously) will be chosen and requested to be brought in for the purpose of routine physical tests. After seven years of age, the tests will be conducted on the entire cohort (Reilly et al. 2005).

Body mass index (BMI, which is weight (kilograms) / height (m2)) will be computed for identifying obese and overweight children and normal weight ones (the control group), in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) gender and age based growth chart. Additionally, a structured questionnaire will facilitate the acquisition of demographic data and information pertaining to participant exposure to….....

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Bhuiyan, M. U., Zaman, S., & Ahmed, T. (2013). Risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among urban school children and adolescents in Bangladesh: a case–control study. BMC Pediatrics, 13, 72.
Hu, F. (2008). Obesity epidemiology. Oxford University Press.

Reilly, J. J., Armstrong, J., Dorosty, A. R., Emmett, P. M., Ness, A., Rogers, I., ... & Sherriff, A. (2005). Early life risk factors for obesity in childhood: cohort study. Bmj, 330(7504), 1357.

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