Previous studies show inconsistent associations between childcare and obesity.
Our prior work demonstrated that childcare in infancy was associated with higher weight in a cohort of Danish children. Here, we extend this work and examine childcare through 6 years and body mass index (BMI) at age 7 years.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We examined 24 714 children in the Danish National Birth Cohort who were also in the Childcare Database. We conducted multivariable linear regressions examining children prior to age 6, overall and by type (daycare, crèche, age-integrated and kindergarten), and BMI z-score at 7 years, stratifying on maternal socio-occupational status.
A total of 19 760 (80.0%) children attended childcare before age 6. Childcare prior to age 6 was associated with BMI z-score at 7 years (0.004 units per each additional 6 months of care; 95% CI: 0.001, 0.008; p = 0.01). Childcare in a kindergarten was the only type of care associated with BMI (0.009 units; 95% CI: 0.003, 0.02; p = 0.01). For children of higher socio-occupational status mothers, childcare was associated with a 0.008 unit increase in BMI (95% CI: 0.004, 0.01; p > 0.001).
Childcare was weakly associated with later BMI. This relationship was more pronounced in children from higher socio-occupational status mothers and children in kindergarten care.