Appl Clin Inform 2015; 06(03): 506-520
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2015-03-RA-0036
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Machine Learning Techniques for Prediction of Early Childhood Obesity

T. M. Dugan
1   Indiana University, Children‘s Health Services Research, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
2   Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Computer Science, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
,
S. Mukhopadhyay
2   Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Computer Science, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
,
A. Carroll
1   Indiana University, Children‘s Health Services Research, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
,
S. Downs
1   Indiana University, Children‘s Health Services Research, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Correspondence to:

Tamara M. Dugan
Children’s Health Services Research
410 W 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317–278–6926   

Publication History

received: 08 April 2015

accepted in revised form: 30 June 2015

Publication Date:
19 December 2017 (online)

 

Summary

Objectives: This paper aims to predict childhood obesity after age two, using only data collected prior to the second birthday by a clinical decision support system called CHICA.

Methods: Analyses of six different machine learning methods: RandomTree, RandomForest, J48, ID3, Naïve Bayes, and Bayes trained on CHICA data show that an accurate, sensitive model can be created.

Results: Of the methods analyzed, the ID3 model trained on the CHICA dataset proved the best overall performance with accuracy of 85% and sensitivity of 89%. Additionally, the ID3 model had a positive predictive value of 84% and a negative predictive value of 88%. The structure of the tree also gives insight into the strongest predictors of future obesity in children. Many of the strongest predictors seen in the ID3 modeling of the CHICA dataset have been independently validated in the literature as correlated with obesity, thereby supporting the validity of the model.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that data from a production clinical decision support system can be used to build an accurate machine learning model to predict obesity in children after age two.

Citation: Dugan TM, Mukhopadhyay S, Carroll AE, Downs SM. Machine learning techniques for prediction of early childhood obesity. Appl Clin Inform 2015; 6: 506–520

http://dx.doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2015-03-RA-0036


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Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest in the research.


Correspondence to:

Tamara M. Dugan
Children’s Health Services Research
410 W 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317–278–6926