Objectives: To determine rates of obesity in nationally representative samples of 3- and 5-year-old children with and without developmental delay in the UK. Study design: Longitudinal birth cohort study. Methods: Secondary analysis of data extracted from Waves 1-3 of the UK's Millennium Cohort Study. Results: By 3 years of age, children with developmental delay are significantly more likely to be obese than their typically developing peers [odds ratio (OR) 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.67]. The risk of obesity and overweight associated with developmental delay increased between 3 and 5 years of age (obesity OR at 5 years of age 1.80, 95% CI 1.23-2.54). Risk factors associated with obesity at 5 years of age among typically developing children (greater material hardship, living in more deprived neighbourhoods, female gender) were not apparent among children with developmental delay. Conclusions: Increased risk for obesity is apparent in young children at risk of intellectual disabilities. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
- Developmental delay