Perinatal socio-behavioral and obstetric predictors of metabolically healthy and unhealthy obesity in adult offspring

Shahar Talisman*, Yechiel Friedlander, Hagit Hochner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether obstetric and perinatal socio-behavioral characteristics at the time of pregnancy predict obesity phenotypes of adult offspring. Methods: The Jerusalem Perinatal Study was conducted among 17,003 deliveries during 1974 to 1976. Follow-up studies were conducted during 2007 to 2009 and 2017 to 2019 among 1,440 offspring undergoing examinations. Offspring were classified into four phenotypes according to obesity and metabolic status: metabolically healthy normal weight (MHNW, reference group), unhealthy normal weight, healthy obesity (MHO), and unhealthy obesity (MUO). Regression models were carried out to identify perinatal predictors for risk phenotypes at age 30 to 35 years, emphasizing the differentiation between socio-behavioral and obstetric features. Results: A total of 15.7% of participants were classified as MUO, and 5.4% were classified as MHO. Low socioeconomic status was associated with both obesity phenotypes (e.g., odds ratio [OR]MHO/MHNW = 2.98, p < 0.001). High socioeconomic status was associated with MUO (ORMUO/MHNW = 1.93, p = 0.002). Maternal low education was also associated with both obesity phenotypes (ORMUO/MHNW = 2.46, p < 0.001, ORMHO/MHNW = 2.45, p = 0.005). Participants with MUO were more likely to have a smoking father (ORMUO/MHNW = 1.48, p = 0.021). Conclusions: Perinatal socio-behavioral characteristics are associated with adult obesity phenotypes. The findings point to possible mechanisms underlying the development of obesity in young adults and, thus, contribute toward identifying high-risk groups that would mostly benefit from obesity risk-reduction interventions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Obesity Society


  • Adult Children
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome/complications
  • Obesity/complications
  • Obesity, Metabolically Benign/complications
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Perinatal socio-behavioral and obstetric predictors of metabolically healthy and unhealthy obesity in adult offspring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this