Retrospective self-reported weight changes during childhood and adolescence are not good predictors of metabolic syndrome risk factors in Mexican young adults


The purpose of the study was to examine whether retrospective self-reported weight changes during childhood and adolescence were associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors in Mexican young adults. Mexican college applicants to the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Mexico, 18 to 25 years old (n = 4187) who had applied for the 2009 academic year were included in the study. Participants underwent a health screening—anthropometrics and blood drawn—and completed a questionnaire. Five major weight change categories were defined based on self-reported weight during childhood and adolescence: consistently normal, consistently underweight, consistently overweight/ obese, weight gain, and weight loss. Most participants self-reported being normal weight during childhood (58.7%) and adolescence (58.3%). Only a small proportion reported being overweight or obese during childhood (10.1%) or adolescence (15.9%). Weight change patterns during childhood and adolescence were marked by overall stability: 40.1% of participants were consistently normal, 15.6% underweight and 3.6% overweight/obese. Among those whose weight changed, 25.0% gained weight and 15.7% lost weight. In regression analyses, weight change categories based on self-reported weight statuses during childhood and adolescence were not associated with current metabolic syndrome risk factors after controlling for measured current BMI. Studies addressing the association between weight gains in early life with metabolic syndrome outcomes in early adulthood should not rely on recalled weight status during early life alone.

Share and Cite:

Andrade, F. , Jiménez, M. , Raffaelli, M. , Teran-García, M. and Aradillas-García, C. (2013) Retrospective self-reported weight changes during childhood and adolescence are not good predictors of metabolic syndrome risk factors in Mexican young adults. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 479-486. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.38064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Rtveladze, K., Marsh, T., Barquera, S., Sanchez Romero, L.M., Levy, D., et al. (2013) Obesity prevalence in Mexico: Impact on health and economic burden. Public Health Nutrition, 1-7.
[2] Nadeau, K.J., Maahs, D.M., Daniels, S.R. and Eckel, R.H. (2011) Childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease: Links and prevention strategies. Nature Reviews Cardiology, 8, 513-258.
[3] Slining, M.M., Kuzawa, C.W., Mayer-Davis, E.J. and Adair, L.S. (2011) Evaluating the indirect effect of infant weight velocity on insulin resistance in young adulthood: A birth cohort study from the Philippines. American Journal of Epidemiology, 173, 640-648.
[4] Sinaiko, A.R., Donahue, R.P., Jacobs, Jr. D.R. and Prineas, R.J. (1999) Relation of weight and rate of increase in weight during childhood and adolescence to body size, blood pressure, fasting insulin, and lipids in young adults: The Minneapolis Children’s Blood Pressure Study. Circulation, 99, 1471-1476.
[5] Fall, C.H., Sachdev, H.S., Osmond, C., Lakshmy, R., Biswas, S.D., Prabhakaran, D., et al. (2008) Adult metabolic syndrome and impaired glucose tolerance are associated with different patterns of BMI gain during infancy. Diabetes Care, 31, 2349-2356.
[6] Hardy, R., Wadsworth, M.E.J., Langenberg, C. and Kuh, D. (2004) Birthweight, childhood growth, and blood pressure at 43 years in a British birth cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33, 121-129.
[7] Hillier, T.A., Fagot-Campagna, A., Eschwège, E., Vol, S., Cailleau, M. and Balkau, B. (2006) Weight change and changes in the metabolic syndrome as the French population moves towards overweight: The DESIR Cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology, 35, 190-196.
[8] Misra, A. and Vikram, N.K. (2003) Clinical and pathophysiological consequences of abdominal adiposity and abdominal adipose tissue depots. Nutrition, 19, 457-466.
[9] Weiss, R., Dziura, J., Burgert, T.S., Tamborlane, W.V., Taksali, S.E., Yeckel, C.W., et al. (2004) Obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. The New England Journal of Medicine, 350, 2362-2374.
[10] Cuevas, A., Alvarez, V. and Carrasco, F. (2011) Epidemic of metabolic syndrome in Latin America. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, 18, 134-138.
[11] Escobedo, J., Schargrodsky, H., Champagne, B., Silva, H., Boissonnet, C.P., Vinueza, R., et al. (2009) Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Latin America and its association with sub-clinical carotid atherosclerosis: The CARMELA cross sectional study. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 8, 52.
[12] WHO (2011) Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2011. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[13] Jenkins, T.M., Buncher, C.R., Akers, R., Daniels, S.R., Lawson, M.L., Khoury, P.R., et al. (2013) Validation of a weight history questionnaire to identify adolescent obesity. Obesity Surgery, 23, 1404-1412.
[14] Lissner, L., Odell, P.M., D’Agostino, R.B., Stokes, J., Kreger, B.E., Belanger, A.J., et al. (1991) Variability of body weight and health outcomes in the Framingham population. The New England Journal of Medicine, 32, 1839-1844.
[15] Hamm, P., Shekelle, R.B. and Stamler, J. (1989) Large fluctuations in body weight during young adulthood and twenty-five-year risk of coronary death in men. American Journal of Epidemiology, 129, 312-318.
[16] Davis, H. and Gergen, P.J. (1994) The weights and heights of Mexican-American adolescents: The accuracy of self-reports. American Journal of Public Health, 84, 459-462.
[17] Osuna-Ramírez, I., Hernández-Prado, B., Campuzano, J.C. and Salmerón, J. (2006) Body mass index and body image perception in Mexican adult population: The accuracy of self-reporting. índice de masa corporal y percepción de la imagen corporal en una población adulta Mexicana: La precisión del autorreporte. Salud Pública de México, 48, 94-103.
[18] Andrade, F.C.D., Raffaelli, M., Teran-Garcia, M., Jerman, J.A. and Aradillas-Garcia, C. (2012) Weight status misperception among Mexican young adults. Body Image, 9, 184-188.
[19] Gorber, S.C., Tremblay, M, Moher, D and Gorber, B. (2007) A comparison of direct vs. self-report measures for assessing height, weight and body mass index: A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 38, 307-326.
[20] Bayomi, D.J. and Tate, R.B. (2008) Ability and accuracy of long-term weight recall by elderly males: The Manitoba Follow-up Study. Annals of Epidemiology, 18, 36-42.
[21] Tamakoshi, K., Yatsuya, H., Kondo, T., Hirano, T., Hori, Y., Yoshida, T., et al. (2003) The accuracy of long-term recall of past body weight in Japanese adult men. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 27, 247-252.
[22] Perry, G.S., Byers, T.E., Mokdad, A.H., Serdula, M.K. and Williamson, D.F. (1995) The validity of self-reports of past body weights by U.S. adults. Epidemiology, 6, 61-66.
[23] Grundy, S.M., Brewer Jr, H.B., Cleeman, J.I., Smith Jr, S.C. and Lenfant, C. (2004) Definition of metabolic syndrome: Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/American Heart Association conference on scientific issues related to definition. Circulation, 109, 433-438.
[24] Alberti, K.G.M.M., Eckel, R.H., Grundy, S.M., Zimmet, P.Z., Cleeman, J.I. and Donato, K.A. (2009) Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome. Circulation, 120, 1640-1645.
[25] Peters, D.H., Garg, A., Bloom, G., Walker, D.G., Brieger, W.R. and Hafizur Rahman, M. (2008) Poverty and access to health care in developing countries. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136, 161-171.
[26] Durrant, V.L. and Menken, J. (2002) Leveraging Longitudinal Data in Developing Countries: Report of a Workshop. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC.
[27] Bonvecchio, A., Safdie, M., Monterrubio, E.A., Gust, T., Villalpando, S. and Rivera, J.A. (2009) Overweight and obesity trends in Mexican children 2 to 18 years of age from 1988 to 2006. Tendencias de sobrepeso y obesidad en niños Mexicanos de 2 a 18 años de edad: 1988 a 2006. Salud Pública de México, 51, S586-S594.
[28] Del Río-Navarro, B.E., Velázquez-Monroy, O., SánchezCastillo, C.P., Lara-Esqueda, A., Berber, A., Fanghänel, G., et al. (2004) The high prevalence of overweight and obesity in Mexican children. Obesity Research, 12, 215-223.
[29] Must, A., Willett, W.C. and Dietz, W.H. (1993) Remote recall of childhood height, weight, and body build by elderly subjects. American Journal of Epidemiology, 138, 56-64.
[30] Koprowski, C., Coates, R.J. and Bernstein, L. (2001) Ability of young women to recall past body size and age at menarche. Obesity Research, 9, 478-485.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.