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Adverse Childhood Experiences & Weight Status

J Pediatr; ePub 2018 Oct 1; Davis, Barnes, et al

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and obesity are strongly associated among adolescents, a recent study found. Researchers used data from the Minnesota Student Survey, a large, statewide, anonymous survey of public school students in eighth, ninth, and eleventh grades (n=105,759). Self-reported height and weight were used to calculated body mass index (BMI) while multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations between self-reported ACEs and weight status. Among the findings:

  • ACEs were positively associated with weight status.
  • Adolescents who reported an ACE were 1.2, 1.4, and 1.5 times as likely to have overweight, obesity, and severe obesity, respectively, compared to adolescents with no ACEs.
  • There was no relationship between ACEs and underweight in the study sample.


Davis L, Barnes AJ, Gross AC, Ryder JR, Shlafer RJ. Adverse childhood experiences and weight status among adolescents. [Published online ahead of print October 1, 2018]. J Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.08.071.