The infants were considered overweight if they had a body mass index (BMI) above the 85th weight-for-height percentile on 2 or more measurements taken at least 3 months part. This means that 85 percent of children their age and gender have a lower BMI, which is a measure of weight in relation to height.
In the first study, the researchers found that infants between the 85th and 94th weight-for-height percentiles actually had fewer hospital admissions and repeat admissions than normal-weight infants. However, higher than expected admission rates were seen in the most overweight infants (95th or higher percentile).
In the second study, overweight infants were more likely than their normal-weight peers to have developmental delays and snoring. There was also evidence that asthma and other breathing problems were more common in overweight infants.
According to the researchers, patients who were overweight or obese were less likely to die during follow up compared to their normal-weight peers. Being overweight or obese "remained protective" against death in a "risk-adjusted" analysis.
Heart failure patients who had a normal weight or who were underweight had the highest death rates. "It remains unknown, however, if higher body fat levels are actually the cause of better outcomes in patients with heart failure," the researchers note in the American Heart Journal.
"We believe there is a need for prospective studies to confirm these findings and elucidate potential mechanisms" for the potentially protective effect of increased body weight on heart failure, Oreopoulos and colleagues conclude.
The study, conducted by Dr. Erin J. Maher, from Casey Family Programs in Seattle, and colleagues, involved nearly 16,000 first-time kindergartners who had or had not been enrolled in childcare, defined as spending at least 10 hours per week in care not provided by a parent.
Childcare was subdivided into four types: 1) paid or unpaid care by a relative, friend, or neighbor, held at least occasionally at the child's home; 2) paid care by a non-relative family outside the child's home; 3) Head Start; and 4) care at daycare center, nursery school, preschool, or pre-kindergarten. Children were considered to be obese if their weight was in the 95th or higher percentile for height.
Overall, kids in childcare were more likely to obese than children not in childcare. Of the various childcare types, care by a relative, friend, or neighbor was most strongly linked to obesity. Compared with other racial groups, white children were less likely and Latino children more likely to be obese.
Links to blogs that reference this article