Infant Motor Milestones and Childhood Overweight: Trends over Two Decades in A Large Twin Cohort

Silvia I Brouwer, Ronald P Stolk, Meike Bartels, C.E.M. van Beijsterveldt, Dorret I Boomsma, Eva Corpeleijn

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Poor motor skill competence may influence energy balance with childhood overweight as a result. Our aim was to investigate whether the age of motor milestone achievement has changed over the past decades and whether this change may contribute to the increasing trend observed in childhood overweight.

METHODS: Motor skill competence was assessed in children from the Young Netherlands Twin Register born between 1987 and 2007. Follow-up ranged from 4 up to 10 years. Weight and height were assessed at birth, 6 months, 14 months, and 2, 4, 7, and 10 years.

RESULTS: Babies born in later cohorts achieved their motor milestones 'crawling', 'standing', and 'walking unassisted' later compared to babies born in earlier cohorts (N = 18,514, p < 0.001). The prevalence of overweight at age 10 was higher in later cohorts (p = 0.033). The increase in overweight at age 10 was not explained by achieving motor milestones at a later age and this persisted after adjusting for gestational age, sex, and socioeconomic status.

CONCLUSION: Comparing children born in 1987 to those born in 2007, we conclude that children nowadays achieve their motor milestones at a later age. This does not however, explain the increasing trend in childhood overweight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2366
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


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