Prediction of childhood overweight and obesity at age 10–11: findings from the Studying Lifecourse Obesity PrEdictors and the Born in Bradford cohorts

Publication authors

Ziauddeen,Nida; J, Paul; Roderick; Santorelli, Gillian & Nisreen A. Alwan



In England, 41% of children aged 10–11 years live with overweight or obesity. Identifying children at risk of developing overweight or obesity may help target early prevention interventions. We aimed to develop and externally validate prediction models of childhood overweight and obesity at age 10–11 years using routinely collected weight and height measurements at age 4–5 years and maternal and early-life health data.


We used an anonymised linked cohort of maternal pregnancy and birth health records in Hampshire, UK between 2003 and 2008 and child health records. Childhood body mass index (BMI), adjusted for age and sex, at 10–11 years was used to define the outcome of overweight and obesity (BMI ≥ 91st centile) in the models. Logistic regression models and multivariable fractional polynomials were used to select model predictors and to identify transformations of continuous predictors that best predict the outcome. Models were externally validated using data from the Born in Bradford birth cohort. Model performance was assessed using discrimination and calibration.


Childhood BMI was available for 6566 children at 4–5 (14.6% overweight) and 10–11 years (26.1% overweight) with 10.8% overweight at both timepoints. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.82 at development and 0.83 on external validation for the model only incorporating two predictors: BMI at 4–5 years and child sex. AUC increased to 0.84 on development and 0.85 on external validation on additionally incorporating maternal predictors in early pregnancy (BMI, smoking, age, educational attainment, ethnicity, parity, employment status). Models were well calibrated.


This prediction modelling can be applied at 4–5 years to identify the risk for childhood overweight at 10–11 years, with slightly improved prediction with the inclusion of maternal data. These prediction models demonstrate that routinely collected data can be used to target early preventive interventions to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.