One in five children in England are overweight by the time they start primary school. Nationally, children are weighed and measured, aged four to five, during their first year of school. But findings from our new study suggest that to prevent obesity parents should keep an eye on their children’s weight from as early as age two.
Our team conducted a review of 54 studies internationally that reported child height and weight measurements taken since 2000. Pooling data from over 700,000 children, we plotted typical body mass index (BMI) growth curves for boys and girls between the ages of four and 11 years old, showing the predicted trajectories for subsets of children with higher and lower BMI values.