Early childhood factors associated with obesity at age 8 in Vietnamese children: The Young Lives Cohort Study.

Affiliation

Nguyen T(1), Sokal-Gutierrez K(2), Lahiff M(3), Fernald L(4), Ivey SL(5).
Author information:
(1)School of Public Health and School of Medicine, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, University of California, 2121 Berkeley Way, Room 5302, Berkeley, CA, USA. [Email]
(2)School of Public Health, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, University of California, 570 University Hall, MC 1190, Berkeley, CA, USA.
(3)Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California, 6132 Berkeley Way West, Berkeley, CA, USA.
(4)School of Public Health, University of California, 2121 Berkeley Way, Room 5302, Berkeley, CA, USA.
(5)School of Public Health, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, University of California, 2199 Addison St, 4th floor, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Over recent decades, Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth, a nutrition transition from the traditional diet to highly-processed and calorie-dense foods and beverages, and an increasing prevalence of childhood overweight/obesity (ow/ob). The goal of this study is to describe the patterns of ow/ob in a longitudinal sample of Vietnamese children from ages 1 to 8, and the sociodemographic and behavioral factors associated with ow/ob at age 8. METHODS: This study is a secondary data analysis of a geographically-representative, longitudinal cohort of 1961 Vietnamese children from the Young Lives Cohort Study from 2002 to 2009. Thirty-one communities were selected with oversampling in rural communities, and children age 1 were recruited from each community using simple random sampling. Surveys of families and measurements of children were collected at child ages 1, 5, and 8. Our specified outcome measure was childhood ow/ob at age 8, defined by the World Health Organization's thresholds for body-mass-index (BMI) for age Z-scores. Associations between early and concurrent socio-behavioral factors, childhood nutrition and physical activity variables were analyzed using STATA 15. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were completed utilizing logistic regression models. RESULTS: The prevalence of ow/ob increased from 1.1% in both sexes at age 1 to 7% in females and 13% in males at age 8. Bivariate analyses show greater likelihood of ow/ob at age 8 was significantly associated with early life sociodemographic factors (at age 1), male sex (OR = 2.2, 1.6-3.1), higher wealth (OR = 1.1-1.4), and urban residence (OR = 4.3, 3-6). In adjusted analyses, ow/ob at age 8 was associated with early nutrition practices at age 5, including frequent consumption of powdered milk (OR = 2.8, 1.6-4.6), honey/sugar (OR = 2.7, 1.8-4.1), prepared restaurant/fast foods (OR = 4.6, 2.6-8.2), and packaged sweets (OR = 3.4, 2.3-4.9). In addition, breastfeeding for 6 months or longer was protective against obesity at age 8 (OR = 0.3, 0.1-0.9). CONCLUSIONS: We found that increased consumption of powdered milk, honey/sugar, packaged sweets, and prepared restaurants/fast foods are associated with childhood ow/ob. In contrast, breastfeeding for 6 months or longer was protective against childhood ow/ob. These findings suggest that public health programs and campaigns aimed to prevent childhood ow/ob in Vietnam should target early feeding practices.