The obesity epidemic may have developed as a response to the obesogenic environment among the genetically predisposed. This investigation examined whether the intergenerational resemblances in childhood overweight changed across the development of the obesity epidemic in groups of children born to parents with and without childhood overweight.
The study population was from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register, which includes age- and sex-specific body mass index (BMI; kg/m(2) ) of children. This study used BMI values from 7-year-old children born 1952-1989 and from their parents at ages 7 and 13 years. The available number of parent-child pairs ranged from 17,926 through 42,184. The odds ratios of childhood overweight (BMI z-score >90th percentile) were calculated using logistic regression by parental BMI groups (BMI > or =90th percentile) and child birth year intervals.
Stable levels in parent-child overweight associations were observed across child BMI groups born to parents with and without childhood overweight. A slight upward odds ratio trend was observed across time in children born to two overweight parents at age 13, but not at age 7 years.
Parent-child resemblance in childhood overweight showed small changes during the development of the obesity epidemic, suggesting that the obesogenic environment inducing the epidemic in Denmark influenced children irrespective of their familial predisposition.