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Age, period and cohort effects on body weight and body mass index in adults: The Doetinchem Cohort Study

  • Astrid CJ Nooyens (a1) (a2), Tommy LS Visscher (a1) (a2), WM Monique Verschuren (a1), A Jantine Schuit (a1) (a2), Hendriek C Boshuizen (a1), Willem van Mechelen (a3) and Jacob C Seidell (a2) (a3)...

Abstract

Objective

To study the development of body weight with ageing, in a general adult population, taking into account possible period and cohort effects.

Design

A prospective cohort study with 11 years of follow-up. At baseline and after 6 and 11 years, body weight and height were measured.

Setting

The Doetinchem Cohort Study, consisting of inhabitants of Doetinchem, a town in a rural area of The Netherlands.

Subjects

In total, 4070 healthy men and women aged 20–59 years at baseline.

Results

Increase in BMI with ageing was less profound based on cross-sectional data than based on longitudinal data. More recent-born cohorts had a higher BMI at a given age than cohorts who were born earlier. Increase in mean BMI with ageing was observed in all age groups and was similar for groups with a different educational level. Highest increase in BMI over 11 years was observed in the youngest group, aged 20–29 years at baseline (2·2 [95 % CL 2·0, 2·3] kg/m2), and lowest increase in the oldest group, aged 50–59 years at baseline (1·1 [1·0, 1·3] kg/m2).

Conclusions

Findings of the present study using longitudinal data suggest that increase in BMI with ageing is underestimated in all age groups by studying cross-sectional data only. Further, weight gain is present in all educational levels and does not stop at middle age.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email: astrid.nooyens@rivm.nl

References

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Keywords

Age, period and cohort effects on body weight and body mass index in adults: The Doetinchem Cohort Study

  • Astrid CJ Nooyens (a1) (a2), Tommy LS Visscher (a1) (a2), WM Monique Verschuren (a1), A Jantine Schuit (a1) (a2), Hendriek C Boshuizen (a1), Willem van Mechelen (a3) and Jacob C Seidell (a2) (a3)...

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