Objective: This study aimed to identify obesity trajectories from childhood to adolescence (2-15 years of age) and investigate differences in behavioral, eating, and adrenocortical regulation by trajectory membership. Methods: A total of 1,077 households from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were included. Anthropometrics were measured 11 times between ages 15 months and 15 years. Behavioral self-regulation was assessed at ages 3 and 4 years. Disordered eating behaviors and awakening cortisol were assessed at age 15 years. Results: Latent growth curve modeling identified four BMI trajectories: two nonoverweight trajectories based on average BMI at the 40th and 70th percentiles and overweight/obesity and severe obesity trajectories. Youth in the severe obesity trajectory exhibited lower behavioral self-regulation in early childhood and lower awakening cortisol at age 15 years compared with youth in the nonoverweight trajectories. Youth in the overweight/obesity and severe obesity trajectories showed higher levels of disordered eating behaviors at age 15 years. Conclusions: Obesity trajectories were associated with biobehavioral markers of dysregulation in early childhood and adolescence. Dysregulation across biobehavioral domains was particularly apparent among youth who developed severe obesity. Further work is needed to better understand resilience factors that distinguish youth who develop obesity and severe obesity from those who do not.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics