Distinct patterns of socio-economic disparities in child-to-adolescent BMI trajectories across UK ethnic groups: a prospective longitudinal study

Lu, Y., Pearce, A. and Li, L. (2020) Distinct patterns of socio-economic disparities in child-to-adolescent BMI trajectories across UK ethnic groups: a prospective longitudinal study. Pediatric Obesity, 15(4), e12598. (doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12598) (PMID:31872553) (PMCID:PMC7079192)

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Background: In many high‐income countries, body mass index (BMI)/obesity levels are inversely associated with socio‐economic position (SEP). Little is known whether socio‐economic patterns in BMI trajectories throughout childhood differ by ethnicity, especially in the United Kingdom. Objectives: To investigate socio‐economic disparities in child‐to‐adolescent BMI trajectories and risks of overweight and obesity during adolescence across ethnic groups. Methods: Mixed‐effects fractional polynomial and multinomial regression models were applied to estimate socio‐economic differences in BMI trajectories (3‐14 years) and risk of overweight/obesity at 14 years, respectively, in the UK Millennium Cohort Study (n = 15 996). Analysis was stratified by ethnicity. Result: Poverty was associated with higher BMI in children of White and South Asian origins, with a small difference at 3 years, which widened with age to 0.75 kg/m2 (95% CI, 0.59‐0.91) and 0.77 kg/m2 (0.26‐1.27) at 14 years for the White and South Asian groups, respectively. There was a reverse income‐BMI association in children of Black (African‐Caribbean) origin with the poverty group having a lower BMI (−0.37 kg/m2 [−0.71 to ‐0.04] at 5 years; −0.95 kg/m2 [−1.79 to −0.11] at 14 years). These patterns also presented with maternal education as a SEP indicator and for obesity at 14 years. Conclusions: Socio‐economic advantage may not be universally associated with lower BMI, which should be considered when planning obesity interventions. The positive SEP‐BMI association in children of Black origin requires replication and merits further investigation into underpinning mechanisms.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded by a Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Grant [MR/K501268/1] to YL and supported by the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre. AP was supported by funds from the Wellcome Trust [205412/Z/16/Z], the Medical Research Council [MC_UU_12017/13] and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office [SPHSU13].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pearce, Dr Anna
Authors: Lu, Y., Pearce, A., and Li, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Pediatric Obesity
ISSN (Online):2047-6310
Published Online:23 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Pediatric Obesity 15(4):e12598
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU13
174091Improving life chances & reducing child health inequalities: harnessing the untapped potential of existing dataAnna PearceWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)205412/Z/16/ZHW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit