To investigate the impact of factors in the first 1,000 days of life on metabolic phenotypes of obesity in preschool children in a cohort study.


We recruited 3-year-old children for the study. Early life factors included maternal age at delivery, maternal education, prepregnancy BMI, gestational weight gain, gravidity, history of gestational diabetes mellitus, delivery mode, gestational age, family history of metabolic disorders, paternal education, annual family income, child sex, birth weight, and breastfeeding duration. According to BMI and metabolic status, children were classified as metabolically healthy (no metabolic risk factors) with normal weight (MHNW), metabolically unhealthy (one or more metabolic risk factors) with normal weight (MUNW), metabolically healthy with overweight or obesity (MHO), and metabolically unhealthy with overweight or obesity (MUO).


We recruited 3,822 children for the study, with 3,015 analyzed. Accelerated BMI z score growth rate between 6 and 24 months was associated with MHO (β = 0.022; 95% CI 0.009, 0.036) and MUO (β = 0.037; 95% CI 0.018, 0.056). Maternal overweight (odds ratio [OR] 3.16; 95% CI 1.55, 6.42) and obesity (OR 8.14; 95% CI 3.73, 17.76) before pregnancy and macrosomia (OR 2.47; 95% CI 1.32, 4.59) were associated with MHO, and maternal obesity before pregnancy (OR 6.35; 95% CI 2.17, 18.52) increased the risk of MUO.


Early life factors, such as maternal obesity and accelerated BMI growth rate between 6 and 24 months, were related not only to MHO but also to MUO. Children with these early life factors should be given interventions for weight control to prevent metabolic abnormalities.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.22087064.

This content is only available via PDF.
Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at https://www.diabetesjournals.org/journals/pages/license.