Obesity is known to cluster in families, but most studies to date are limited to two generations. A new Pediatric Obesity study is the first to prospectively examine the relationship between grandparent and grandchild abdominal obesity.
The study found a consistent relationship between waist circumference in maternal grandmother and grandchild, with no relationship seen in other lineages. The association was seen at both time points analysed: when children were 5 years old and 9 years old. Data came from participants in the Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study, which was initiated in 2001 in Ireland.
The results may suggest an intrauterine or environmental effect, with potential public health and clinical implications.
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