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.

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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.


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