Determinants of Weight Gain during the First Two Years of Life--The GECKO Drenthe Birth Cohort

Leanne K Küpers, Carianne L'Abée, Gianni Bocca, Ronald P Stolk, Pieter J J Sauer, Eva Corpeleijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To explain weight gain patterns in the first two years of life, we compared the predictive values of potential risk factors individually and within four different domains: prenatal, nutrition, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors.

METHODS: In a Dutch population-based birth cohort, length and weight were measured in 2475 infants at 1, 6, 12 and 24 months. Factors that might influence weight gain (e.g. birth weight, parental BMI, breastfeeding, hours of sleep and maternal education) were retrieved from health care files and parental questionnaires. Factors were compared with linear regression to best explain differences in weight gain, defined as changes in Z-score of weight-for-age and weight-for-length over 1-6, 6-12 and 12-24 months. In a two-step approach, factors were first studied individually for their association with growth velocity, followed by a comparison of the explained variance of the four domains.

RESULTS: Birth weight and type of feeding were most importantly related to weight gain in the first six months. Breastfeeding versus formula feeding showed distinct growth patterns in the first six months, but not thereafter. From six months onwards, the ability to explain differences in weight gain decreased substantially (from R2total = 38.7% to R2total<7%).

CONCLUSION: Birth weight and breast feeding were most important to explain early weight gain, especially in the first six months of life. After the first six months of life other yet undetermined factors start to play a role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0133326
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Birth Weight
  • Body Weight
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child Development
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Weight Gain


Dive into the research topics of 'Determinants of Weight Gain during the First Two Years of Life--The GECKO Drenthe Birth Cohort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this