Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Studying Lifecourse Obesity PrEdictors (SLOPE) Study


The SLOPE study data are based on an anonymised population-based cohort linking antenatal and delivery records for all births registered with the Princess Anne Hospital system, Southampton (2003-2018) to child health records including information on postnatal growth, type of feeding and childhood body mass index up to the age of 14 years. Each child born in England and Wales is followed up by health visitor teams for at least ‘5 key appointments’ which start at 28 weeks into pregnancy, and end with a developmental review at age 2 ½. At each appointment, key information on child development and feeding patterns are collected, in addition to the child being weighed.

Childhood weight and height is recorded at ages 4/5 and 10/11 through the National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP). As part of the NCMP, the height and weight of all children in reception class (age 4/5) and year 6 (10/11) are measured in England and Wales on an opt-out basis (parents may choose to exclude their children from these measurements). Body mass index is calculated for children by dividing their weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres). This measurement is then compared to a reference sample of measurements gathered in 1990, which takes age and sex into account. Children who have a BMI greater than 85% of others of the same age and sex, but lower than the 5% largest BMIs are defined as being affected by overweight, according to guidelines from the National Obesity Observatory. Children who have a BMI greater than 95% of others of the same age and sex are defined as being affected by obesity.

Approximately 30,000 maternal-child records with at least one outcome at age 4-5 years are included in the SLOPE study.

Geographical areas where mother and baby are resident at birth and in early life are characterised, including physical and built environment data from Ordnance Survey, as well as open sociodemographic area-level data.

Prediction models of childhood obesity are developed, internally and then externally validated using data at multiple time points: first antenatal appointment, at birth and in the first two years of life. Changes between successive live pregnancies and how they are linked to childhood obesity in the second sibling are also studied, and further predictions models are explored taking into account modifiable changes in the period between successive pregnancies. The results of the prediction modelling can be used to identify and quantify clustering of risk for childhood obesity as early as the first trimester of pregnancy utilising routinely-collected data, and can strengthen the long-term preventive element of antenatal and early years care


Princess Anne Hospital

The Princess Anne Hospital is the regional antenatal centre for the city of Southampton and the surrounding region

Princess Anne information
Privacy Settings