Weight catch-up and achieved schooling at 18 years of age in Brazilian males

B. L. Horta, D. W. Sibbritt, R. C. Lima, C. G. Victora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the relationship between weight catch-up in infancy and achieved schooling at 18 years of age in Brazilian males. Subjects: All newborn infants in the city's hospitals were enrolled in 1982; 78.8% (2250) of all male participants were located at age 18 years when enrolling in the national army. Results: According to the Brazilian school calendar, 18-year-olds should be attending the 11th grade, but school failure was very common and 78.5% of all subjects had failed at least once. The average achieved schooling was 7.7 years (s.d. = 2.3). After controlling for possible confounding variables, birthweight was positively associated with achieved schooling. With respect to postnatal growth, weight gain in the first 20 months was associated with increased schooling. Among SGA infants who caught-up in weight, achieved schooling was 1.3 higher. Data from a cross-sectional survey in the same population suggest that such a difference corresponds to a 25% difference in adult income levels. Conclusion: The study showed that early weight catch-up is associated with achieved schooling. The beneficial effects of early weight gain should be balanced against its potential harms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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