BMI Trajectories From Adolescence to Adulthood: Evidence From Five Waves of Add Health

Carmen Ng, Emory University
Solveig Cunningham , Emory University

We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a nationally representative U.S. cohort with five waves of data, which allowed for a thorough exploration of obesity dynamics over more than 20 years from adolescence to adulthood. Obesity is a major public health problem in the U.S. that has important implications for adult health. Enhancing our understanding of its overall patterns, identifying particularly critical windows within this period, and identifying especially susceptible demographic sub-groups are crucial for prevention and treatment. To this end, we calculated transition probabilities among body mass index (BMI) categories and annualized changes in continuous BMI between waves. We then estimated longitudinal generalized estimating equations to more broadly examine overall changes in BMI and obesity from adolescence and adulthood, and used these population-average models to explore patterns across sex, race/ethnicity, and place of residence.

See paper

 Presented in Session 248. Determinants of Adolescent Health