Research Article
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Published Online: 1 April 2018

Childcare Environment and Japanese Children Who Are Overweight in Early Childhood

Publication: Childhood Obesity
Volume 14, Issue Number 3


Background: Maternal employment may affect child care styles and contribute to the increasing prevalence of overweight children. We explored the potential risk factors for becoming overweight during early childhood, especially in the child care environment.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from health check-up services from 2007 to 2015 in Kobe, Japan. The main outcome was being overweight at age 3 years, which was defined by the International Obesity Task Force cutoffs. Environmental, maternal, and infantile factors were examined as possible risk factors for childhood overweight.
Results: Of 31,463 infants, 1315 (4.2%) were classified as overweight at age 3 years. Compared with children who were cared for by their mothers during the day at 4 and 18 months, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for becoming overweight for those who were not cared for by their mothers was 1.52: 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.16–1.99. Long sleep duration was associated with lower risk of childhood overweight: aOR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66–0.96.
Conclusion: Less daytime care by mothers and shorter sleep duration were associated with increased risk of becoming overweight during childhood. Further studies are needed to determine on how the effect of those factors may be diminished with respect to childhood overweight.

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Published In

cover image Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity
Volume 14Issue Number 3April 2018
Pages: 197 - 206
PubMed: 29473766


Published in print: April 2018
Published online: 1 April 2018
Published ahead of print: 23 February 2018


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Chisato Miyakoshi
Department of Healthcare Epidemiology, School of Public Health in the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
Department of Pediatrics, Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, Kobe, Japan.
Yosuke Yamamoto
Department of Healthcare Epidemiology, School of Public Health in the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
Hiroki Mishina
Child and Family Bureau of Kobe City, Kobe, Japan.
Chika Shirai
Kobe City Public Health Center, Kobe, Japan.
Ichiro Morioka
Department of Pediatrics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.
Shunichi Fukuhara
Department of Healthcare Epidemiology, School of Public Health in the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
Center for Innovative Research for Communities and Clinical Excellence (CIRC2LE), Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan.


Address correspondence to:Yosuke Yamamoto, MD, PhDDepartment of Healthcare EpidemiologySchool of Public Health in the Graduate School of MedicineKyoto UniversityYoshida Konoe-cho, Sakyo-kuKyoto 606-8501Japan
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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