Childcare in Infancy and Later Obesity: a Narrative Review of Longitudinal Studies.
Current Pediatrics Reports 2017 ; 5: 118-131.
PubMed ID : 28845369
PMCID : PMC5550538
The purpose of this review was to summarize the current literature on the longitudinal relationship between non-parental childcare during infancy and later obesity.
Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 74 associations relevant to the review. Studies were highly heterogeneous in terms of defining childcare, categorizing different types of childcare, assessing obesity, and age at measurement of outcome and exposure. Most of the associations were either non-significant (42 associations, 57%) or showed a significant association between increased exposure to childcare and greater obesity (30 associations, 41%). There were very few examples of associations indicating that childcare was associated with lower obesity.
There is limited research on the longitudinal relationship between childcare in infancy and later obesity. Existing studies showed mixed results, similar to recent reviews reporting on cross-sectional studies and older ages. The different definitions of childcare and wide variety of measures of exposure make comparisons between studies challenging.