A group of researchers have identified a simple way to determine a person’s risk of future obesity at birth.
Led by Philippe Froguel of Imperial College London, the team studied data collected from 4,000 children born in Finland over more than two decades, Reuters noted.
Though the researchers began their project looking for genetic markers that could forecast obesity, they discovered that non-genetic factors proved far more accurate in projecting future weight.
The team constructed a formula based on five childhood factors to determine who was most likely to become obese. They found that the formula worked effectively on Finnish, Italian and American children.
Froguel noted that the calculation can be performed without medical testing and at no cost.
The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The five factors that provide a child’s risk of future obesity are:
- A child’s birth weight
- The body mass index of both parents
- The number of people in the child’s household
- The professional status of the child’s mother
- If the child’s mother smoked while she was pregnant
An online version of the calculator can be found at a website created by the researchers.