Competence Network of Obesity (2nd funding period: 2012 – 2015)

Life Course Approach To Obesity Research: From Epidemiology To Future Strategies Of Prevention – EPI Germany.
Subproject 1: Determinants and consequences of weight, waist circumference and fat mass gain in children and adolescents

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Study objective:
To understand specific periods of change in weight, waist circumference and fat mass as well as their determinants and consequences in order to develop an age- and life period-specific strategy for prevention of excessive gains in weight, waist circumference and fat mass.

Specific aims:

  • To analyse the probability of weight gain and becoming overweight as well as the probability of excessive BMI change, waist circumference change and energy gain to identify critical periods for changes in body weight and body composition at their trajectories in childhood and adolescence.
  • To identify the determinants of excessive BMI change, waist circumference and energy gain and to summarise risk factors to develop an evidence-based public health preventive approach.
  • To identify metabolic biomarkers as predictors of BMI change, waist circumference gain and fat gain in children and adolescents.
  • To combine the results from the childhood/adolescent (SP1) and adult (SP2) cohorts to model longitudinally growth and changes of weight, waist circumference and fat mass from infancy to adulthood.
  • To develop life course specific strategies for obesity prevention and to analyse the development of health care utilization and health care costs on an individual data level and in relation to BMI and BMI development.


Dr. Joachim Heinrich, Dr. Claudia Flexeder


  • Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Prof. Dr. Manfred J. Müller, Dr. Sandra Plachta-Daniezik)
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn (Dr. Anette Buyken)
  • Bremen Institute of Prevention Research and Social Medicine (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens)
  • University of Ulm (Prof. Dr. Martin Wabitsch)
  • Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (PD Dr. Thomas Keil, Prof. Dr. Susanne Lau)
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Institute of Social Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Prof. Dr. Rüdiger von Kries)
  • Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital (Dr. Regina Ensenauer)
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management (Prof. Dr. Reiner Leidl, Dr. Andreas Mielck)
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Dr. Jens Ried)


Dr. Joachim Heinrich

Related publications:

Batscheider A, Rzehak P, Teuner CM, Wolfenstetter SB, Leidl R, von Berg A, Berdel D, Hoffmann B, Heinrich J for the GINIplus and LISAplus Study Groups. Development of BMI values of German children and their healthcare costs. Econ Hum Biol 2014; 12: 56-66.

Cheng G, Bolzenius K, Joslowski G, Günther ALB, Kroke A, Heinrich J, Buyken AE. Velocities of weight, height and fat mass gain during potentially critical periods of growth are decisive for adult body composition. Eur J Clin Nutr 2015; 69(2): 262-268.

Diethelm K, Günther ALB, Schulze MB, Standl M, Heinrich J, Buyken AE. Prospective relevance of dietary patterns at the beginning and during the course of primary school to the development of body composition. Br J Nutr 2014; 111(8): 1488-1498.

Flexeder C, Thiering E, Kratzsch J, Klümper C, Koletzko B, Müller MJ, Koletzko S, Heinrich J for the GINIplus and LISAplus Study Group. Is a child’s growth pattern early in life related to serum adipokines at the age of 10 years? Eur J Clin Nutr 2014; 68(1): 25-31.

Pei Z, Flexeder C, Fuertes E, Thiering E, Koletzko B, Cramer C, Berdel D, Lehmann I, Bauer CP, Heinrich J for the GINIplus and LISAplus Study Group. Early life risk factors of being overweight at 10 years of age: results of the German birth cohorts GINIplus and LISAplus. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013; 67(8): 855-862.

Pei Z, Heinrich J, Fuertes E, Flexeder C, Hoffmann B, Lehmann I, Schaaf B, von Berg A, Koletzko S on behalf of the LISAplus Study Group. Cesarean delivery and risk of childhood obesity. J Pediatr 2014; 164(5): 1068-1073.

Standl M, Thiering E, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B, Heinrich J. Age-dependent effects of cord blood long-chain PUFA composition on BMI during the first 10 years of life. Br J Nutr 2014; 111(11): 2024-2031.

von Kries R, Müller MJ, Heinrich J. Early prevention of childhood obesity: another promise or a reliable path for battling childhood obesity? Obes Facts 2014; 7(2): 77-81.


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