Predictors of Change in BMI From the Age of 4 to 8

​Objectives To examine appetite traits, level of physical activity, and television (TV) time as predictors of change in Body Mass Index Standard Deviation Score (BMI SDS) from age 6 to 8 and to explore the effect of BMI SDS (from age 4) on appetite traits. Methods In all, 995 Norwegian children participated at age 4; 760 and 687 of these children took part in the assessment at ages 6 and 8, respectively. Appetite traits were assessed using the Children’s Eating Behavior Questionnaire, activity was measured using accelerometers, and TV time was based on parental reports. Results High food responsiveness predicted a steeper increase in BMI SDS. A reversed effect was also observed: High BMI SDS predicted increased food responsiveness and decreased satiety responsiveness. Physical activity and TV time were unrelated to BMI SDS. Conclusion Children whose eating is especially triggered by the sight and smell of food show prospective increased weight gain. Excess weight and weight gain also predict increased food-approaching behavior.