Body mass index trajectories from adolescence to early young adulthood: Do adverse life events play a role?

Leonie K. Elsenburg*, Nynke Smidt, Hans W. Hoek, Aart C. Liefbroer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are different classes of body mass index (BMI) development from early adolescence to young adulthood and whether these classes are related to the number of adverse life events children experienced. Methods: Data were from the TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey) cohort (n = 2,218). Height and weight were objectively measured five times between participants' ages 10 to 12 years and 21 to 23 years. Parents reported on the occurrence of adverse life events in their child's life in an interview when children were 10 to 12 years old. Unconditional and conditional growth mixture modeling was used for statistical analysis. Results: “Normal weight” (75.1%), “late onset overweight” (20.1%), and “early onset overweight” classes (4.8%) were identified. In analyses unadjusted for additional covariates, children who experienced a higher number of adverse events had higher odds to be in the late onset overweight (OR [95% CI] = 1.08 [1.00-1.17]) than the normal weight class, but the association was attenuated in analyses adjusted for additional covariates (OR [95% CI] = 1.07 [0.98-1.16]). Conclusions: Three BMI trajectory classes can be distinguished from early adolescence to young adulthood. The accumulation of adverse life events is not related to BMI trajectory class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2142-2148
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Early online date25 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


Funding agencies: This work was supported by a grant of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of the University Medical Center Groningen awarded to LKE and by the multidisciplinary research program Healthy Ageing, Population and Society (HAPS). HAPS is supported by the University of Groningen. This research is part of the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). Participating centers of TRAILS include the University Medical Center and University of Groningen, the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the University of Utrecht, the Radboud Medical Center Nijmegen, and the Parnassia Bavo group, all in the Netherlands. TRAILS has been financially supported by various grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO (Medical Research Council program grant GB-MW 940-38-011; ZonMW Brainpower grant 100-001-004; ZonMw Risk Behavior and Dependence grants 60-60600-97-118; ZonMw Culture and Health grant 261-98-710; Social Sciences Council medium-sized investment grants GB-MaGW 480-01-006 and GB-MaGW 480-07-001; Social Sciences Council project grants GB-MaGW 452-04-314 and GB-MaGW 452-06-004; NWO large-sized investment grant 175.010.2003.005; NWO Longitudinal Survey and Panel Funding 481-08-013 and 481-11-001), the Dutch Ministry of Justice (WODC), the European Science Foundation (EuroSTRESS project FP-006), Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure BBMRI-NL (CP 32), and the participating universities. Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest. Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article. Received: 18 April 2017; Accepted: 23 August 2017; Published online 25 October 2017. doi:10.1002/oby.22022

FundersFunder number
Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure BBMRI-NLCP 32
Dutch Ministry of Justice
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO
Social Sciences CouncilGB-MaGW 480-07-001, GB-MaGW 452-06-004, GB-MaGW 480-01-006, GB-MaGW 452-04-314
ZonMw Culture and Health261-98-710
ZonMw Risk Behavior and Dependence60-60600-97-118
Medical Research CouncilGB-MW 940-38-011
European Science FoundationFP-006
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek481-08-013, 175.010.2003.005, 481-11-001
Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum


    Dive into the research topics of 'Body mass index trajectories from adolescence to early young adulthood: Do adverse life events play a role?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this