Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University-NYSPI, New York, NY (C.D., A.S); Turku University Hospital, Turku Finland (A.S., J.P, K.K.); RBPU, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tromso University, Tromso, Norway (A.S.); Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland (G.N.); Research Department, Centre for Military Medicine, Helsinki, Finland (H.P.); Department of Biostatistics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland (H.H.); Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Oulu Hospital, Oulu, Finland (I.M.); Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Tampere Hospital, Tampere, Finland (T.T.); Department of Child Psychiatry, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland (F.A.); and Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether mental health problems in childhood increase the likelihood of overweight or obesity during early adulthood among male subjects. STUDY DESIGN: In a national prospective population-based study conducted in Finland, child mental health, including depression, emotional problems, conduct problems, and hyperactivity (determined on the basis of child, parent, and teacher information), was assessed at age 8 years. Body mass index (BMI) was obtained from military examination records (n = 2209) conducted in early adulthood (age range, 18-23 years). RESULTS: Both moderate (50th-90th percentile) and high (>90th percentile) levels of conduct problems at age 8 years were prospectively associated with a young adult being obese (BMI >/= 30; odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2-3.2; and OR, 2.9; 95% Confidence interval [CI], 1.5-5.9; respectively). Conduct problems were also prospectively associated with a young adult being overweight (25