Association between characteristics at birth, breastfeeding and obesity in 22 countries: the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative – COSI 2015/2017

Rito, Ana Isabel and Buoncristiano, Marta and Spinelli, Angela and Salanave, Benoit and Kunešová, Marie and Hejgaard, Tatjana and García Solano, Marta and Fijałkowska, Anna and Sturua, Lela and Hyska, Jolanda and Kelleher, Cecily and Duleva, Vesselka and Musić Milanović, Sanja and Farrugia Sant’Angelo, Victoria and Abdrakhmanova, Shynar and Kujundzic, Enisa and Peterkova, Valentina and Gualtieri, Andrea and Pudule, Iveta and Petrauskienė, Aušra and Tanrygulyyeva, Maya and Sherali, Rakhmatulloev and Huidumac-Petrescu, Constanta and Williams, Julianne and Ahrens, Wolfgang and Breda, João (2019) Association between characteristics at birth, breastfeeding and obesity in 22 countries: the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative – COSI 2015/2017. Obesity Facts, 12 (2). pp. 226-243. ISSN 1662-4025

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Objectives: It was the aim of this paper to investigate the association of early-life factors, namely breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding and birth weight, with obesity among children. ----- Method: Data from 22 participating countries in the WHO European COSI study (round 4: 2015/2017) were collected using cross-sectional, nationally representative samples of 6- to 9-year-olds (n = 100,583). The children's standardized weight and height measurements followed a common WHO protocol. Information on the children's birth weight and breastfeeding practice and duration was collected through a family record form. A multivariate multilevel logistic regression analysis regarding breastfeeding practice (both general and exclusive) and characteristics at birth was performed. ----- Results: The highest prevalence rates of obesity were observed in Spain (17.7%), Malta (17.2%) and Italy (16.8%). A wide between-country disparity in breastfeeding prevalence was found. Tajikistan had the highest percentage of children that were breastfed for ≥6 months (94.4%) and exclusively breastfed for ≥6 months (73.3%). In France, Ireland and Malta, only around 1 in 4 children was breastfed for ≥6 months. Italy and Malta showed the highest prevalence of obesity among children who have never been breastfed (21.2%), followed by Spain (21.0%). The pooled analysis showed that, compared to children who were breastfed for at least 6 months, the odds of being obese were higher among children never breastfed or breastfed for a shorter period, both in case of general (adjusted odds ratio [adjOR] [95% CI] 1.22 [1.16-1.28] and 1.12 [1.07-1.16], respectively) and exclusive breastfeeding (adjOR [95% CI] 1.25 [1.17-1.36] and 1.05 [0.99-1.12], respectively). Higher birth weight was associated with a higher risk of being overweight, which was reported in 11 out of the 22 countries. Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Poland and Romania showed that children who were preterm at birth had higher odds of being obese, compared to children who were full-term babies. ----- Conclusion: The present work confirms the beneficial effect of breastfeeding against obesity, which was highly increased if children had never been breastfed or had been breastfed for a shorter period. Nevertheless, adoption of exclusive breastfeeding is below global recommendations and far from the target endorsed by the WHO Member States at the World Health Assembly Global Targets for Nutrition of increasing the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50% by 2025.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND) ( Usage and distribution for commercial purposes as well as any distribution of modified material requires written permission.
MeSH: Birth Weight / physiology ; Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data ; Child ; Child, Preschool ; Cross-Sectional Studies ; Europe / epidemiology ; Female ; Humans ; Infant ; Infant, Newborn ; Male ; Overweight / epidemiology ; Parturition / physiology ; Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology ; Pediatric Obesity / etiology ; Population Surveillance ; Prevalence ; World Health Organization
Departments: Katedra za medicinsku statistiku, epidemiologiju i medicinsku informatiku
Depositing User: Kristina Berketa
Status: Published
Buoncristiano, MartaUNSPECIFIED
Spinelli, AngelaUNSPECIFIED
Salanave, BenoitUNSPECIFIED
Kunešová, MarieUNSPECIFIED
Hejgaard, TatjanaUNSPECIFIED
García Solano, MartaUNSPECIFIED
Fijałkowska, AnnaUNSPECIFIED
Kelleher, CecilyUNSPECIFIED
Duleva, VesselkaUNSPECIFIED
Musić Milanović, SanjaUNSPECIFIED
Farrugia Sant’Angelo, VictoriaUNSPECIFIED
Abdrakhmanova, ShynarUNSPECIFIED
Kujundzic, EnisaUNSPECIFIED
Peterkova, ValentinaUNSPECIFIED
Gualtieri, AndreaUNSPECIFIED
Petrauskienė, AušraUNSPECIFIED
Tanrygulyyeva, MayaUNSPECIFIED
Sherali, RakhmatulloevUNSPECIFIED
Huidumac-Petrescu, ConstantaUNSPECIFIED
Williams, JulianneUNSPECIFIED
Ahrens, WolfgangUNSPECIFIED
Date: 2019
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2020 09:46
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 09:46
Subjects: /
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