OBJECTIVE: To identify distinct body mass index (BMI) percentile trajectories during early childhood and examine adiposity levels in childhood and early adulthood according to the BMI percentile trajectories. METHODS: Iowa Fluoride Study cohort parents (n = 1,093) reported their child's anthropometric data on average six times between ages 0 and 23 months. A subset of the cohort underwent DXA scans at approximately age 8 years (n = 495) and again at approximately age 19 years (n = 314). Group-based trajectory analysis was conducted to identify distinct BMI percentile trajectories from ages 0 to 23 months. Sex-specific age-adjusted linear regression analyses were conducted to compare fat mass index in childhood and early adulthood among subgroups that follow the distinct BMI percentile patterns. RESULTS: Four BMI percentile patterns were identified: consistently low (group 1: 9.8%), increase in the second year (group 2: 33.7%), increase in the first year (group 3: 23.9%), and consistently high (group 4: 32.6%). Compared with group 2 females, groups 3 and 4 females had higher fat mass index in childhood and early adulthood (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference was found in males. CONCLUSIONS: Females who experience a steep increase of BMI percentile in the first year of life, as opposed to a steep increase in the second year of life, may have higher body fat later in life, but this was not found in males.