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Infant Overweight Is Associated with Delayed Motor Development


Slining, Meghan M.; Adair, Linda S.; Goldman, Barbara Davis; Borja, Judith B.; & Bentley, Margaret E. (2010). Infant Overweight Is Associated with Delayed Motor Development. Journal of Pediatrics, 157(1), 20-5.e1. PMCID: PMC3395373


OBJECTIVE: To examine how infant overweight and high subcutaneous fat relate to infant motor development.
STUDY DESIGN: Participants were from the Infant Care, Feeding, and Risk of Obesity Project, a prospective, longitudinal study of low-income African-American mother-infant dyads assessed from 3 to 18 months of age (836 observations on 217 infants). Exposures were overweight (weight-for-length z-score >/=90th percentile of 2000 Centers for Disease Control/National Center for Health Statistics growth reference) and high subcutaneous fat (sum of 3 skinfold measurements >90th percentile of our sample). Motor development was assessed by using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II. Developmental delay was characterized as a standardized Psychomotor Development Index score <85. Longitudinal models estimated developmental outcomes as functions of time-varying overweight and subcutaneous fat, controlling for age and sex. Alternate models tested concurrent and lagged relationships (earlier weight or subcutaneous fat predicting current motor development).
RESULTS: Motor delay was 1.80 times as likely in overweight infants compared with non-overweight infants (95% CI,1.09-2.97) and 2.32 times as likely in infants with high subcutaneous fat compared with infants with lower subcutaneous fat (95% CI, 1.26-4.29). High subcutaneous fat was also associated with delay in subsequent motor development (odds ratio, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.08-4.76).
CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric overweight and high subcutaneous fat are associated with delayed infant motor development.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Pediatrics


Slining, Meghan M.
Adair, Linda S.
Goldman, Barbara Davis
Borja, Judith B.
Bentley, Margaret E.