Impact of Carers’ Smoking Status on Childhood Obesity in the Growing up in Ireland Cohort Study

Type Article

Journal Article


S. Sunday; Z. Kabir

Year of publication



Int J Environ Res Public Health







Childhood obesity is a growing concern worldwide. The association between childhood obesity and maternal smoking and/or paternal smoking has been reported. However, few studies have explored the association between childhood obesity and exposure to carers' smoking status. This study aimed to assess the impact of carers' smoking status on childhood obesity in a cohort of children enrolled in the Growing up in Ireland (GUI) study. Participants from the GUI infant cohort were categorized into four groups based on their exposure status: Neither caregiver smoked (60.4%), only primary caregiver smoked (13.4%), both caregivers smoked (10.9%). Exposure to primary carers' smoking (98% are biological mothers) was found to be significantly associated with childhood overweight/obesity at age three (Odds Ratio: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.17-1.46) and at age five (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.16-1.49). Exposure to both carers' smoking status was significantly associated with increased odds of childhood overweight/obesity across both waves. These findings emphasize the health burden of childhood obesity that may be attributable to maternal smoking postnatally and through early childhood in Ireland.