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Title: The influence of inter-generational, early life and environmental factors on the development of adiposity in young adulthood
Author: Cullum, Adrienne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3400 0779
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis examines the influence of inter-generational, early life and behavioural factors on adiposity in young adulthood. The work is based on 951 families who participated in the Barry Caerphilly Growth Study between 1972-9. Children in the study were followed-up at age 25-26 and invited to attend a clinic where anthropometric measurements were taken and details collected of current lifestyle. Their middle aged parents were followed-up for this research project; all parents were sent a health and lifestyle questionnaire and a sub-sample measured clinically. Parent and offspring variables were assessed in multivariable models to determine factors associated with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in young adulthood. Offspring variables included childhood adiposity from birth to age 5 and behaviours and social class at follow-up; parental variables included maternal BMI during pregnancy and parental adiposity in middle age. BMI at age 5 predicted later BMI, though the strength of the association was reduced after controlling for social class and parental BMI. An inverse relationship between age at puberty and later adiposity was explained by BMI at age 5. Size at birth was not significantly associated with later BMI, but children who were smaller at birth had a higher waist circumference at age 25-26. The BMI of both parents predicted their offspring's BMI in adulthood. Parental adiposity had little influence on offspring fat distribution. Few significant associations were found with parental or offspring behaviours. One exception was parental dietary restraint score; higher restraint was associated with lower BMI and waist circumference in females but not males. Thus, higher BMI around age 5 or higher parental BMI at any age, may identify individuals at risk of raised BMI in young adulthood. Size at birth may influence later fat distribution. Shared family attitudes to weight control may also be important in the development of adiposity.
Supervisor: Gunnell, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fatty tissue ; Adipose ; Obesity ; Anthropometrics