Project: Obesity in Low-Income Mothers and Children
Award Year: 1999
Amount of award, fiscal 1999: $350,000.00
Institution: Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Robert Whitaker
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: This work analyzes and improves our understanding of the determinants of childhood obesity. Information from this project will be used to identify those infants participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) who are most likely to be overweight by 4 years of age. The prevalence of obesity in children, especially low-income children, is increasing. Childhood obesity increases the risk of adult obesity, which is associated with increased morbidity and other health problems. Once obesity develops at any age, it is difficult to treat. The current state of knowledge is limited for determining which newborns in WIC are the most likely to be overweight by 4 years of age. If those children at the highest risk of becoming an obese child could be identified at birth, then targeted prevention efforts could begin. Among the potential risk factors to be examined are the presence of an obese parent or an overweight sibling. The work will utilize 1988 to 2001 data that links birth certificate data with WIC program data files from Ohio and Kentucky. A grant was awarded to Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati at a cost of $350,000 in fiscal 1999. The work is expected to be completed by September 2002.

Topic: Obesity, WIC
Bogen, D., B. Hanusa, and R. Whitaker. "The Effect of Breast-Feeding with and without Formula Use on the Risk of Obesity at 4 Years of Age," Obesity Research, Vol. 12, No. 9, September 2004.
Burdette, H., and R. Whitaker. "Neighborhood Playgrounds, Fast Food Restaurants, and Crime: Relationships to Overweight in Low-Income Preschool Children," Preventive Medicine, Vol. 38, No. 1, January 2004.
Whitaker, R. "Predicting Preschooler Obesity at Birth: The Role of Maternal Obesity in Early Pregnancy," Pediatrics, Vol. 114, No. 1, July 2004.