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

Astrid C J Nooyens, Tommy L S Visscher, W M Monique Verschuren, A.J. Schuit, Hendriek C Boshuizen, Willem van Mechelen, Jacob C Seidell

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-870
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aging
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Obesity
  • Prospective Studies
  • Weight Gain
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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  • Cite this

    Nooyens, A. C. J., Visscher, T. L. S., Verschuren, W. M. M., Schuit, A. J., Boshuizen, H. C., van Mechelen, W., & Seidell, J. C. (2009). Age, period and cohort effects on body weight and body mass index in adults: The Doetinchem Cohort Study. Public Health Nutrition, 12(6), 862-870. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980008003091