Disadvantaged children at greater relative risk of thinness as well as obesity: a secondary data analysis of the England National Child Measurement Programme and the UK Millennium Cohort StudyReportar como inadecuado

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International Journal for Equity in Health

, 14:61

First Online: 05 August 2015Received: 19 December 2014Accepted: 17 July 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12939-015-0187-6

Cite this article as: Pearce, A., Rougeaux, E. & Law, C. Int J Equity Health 2015 14: 61. doi:10.1186-s12939-015-0187-6


IntroductionYoung children living in more disadvantaged socio-economic circumstances SECs are at an increased risk of overweight and obesity. However, there is scant research examining the prevalence and social distribution of thinness in early childhood, despite potential negative consequences for health and development across the life-course.

MethodsWe examined the social gradient in thinness and overweight and obesity for comparison for 2,620,422 four-to-five year olds attending state maintained primary schools from 2007-8 to 2011-12, in the England National Child Measurement Programme NCMP, and 16,715 children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study MCS, born in 2000–2002, and measured at ages of three, five and seven. Children were classified as being thin, healthy weight and, for completeness, overweight or obese using international age and sex adjusted cut-offs for body mass index BMI. Prevalences and 95 % confidence intervals CIs were estimated, overall, and according to SECs: area deprivation NCMP, MCS; household income, and maternal social class and education MCS only. Relative Risk Ratios RRRs and CIs for thinness, overweight and obesity were estimated in multinomial models by SECs baseline healthy weight. In the MCS, standard errors were estimated using clustered sandwich estimators to account for repeated measures, and, for thinness, RRRs by SECs were also estimated adjusting for a range of early life characteristics.

ResultsIn 2007-8 to 2011-12, 5.20 % of four-to-five year old girls n = 66,584 and 5.88 % of boys 78,934 in the NCMP were thin. In the MCS, the prevalence of thinness was 4.59 % 693 at three, 4.21 % 702 at five, and 5.84 % 804 at seven years. In both studies, and for all measures of SECs, children from the most disadvantaged groups were more likely to be thin than those from the most advantaged groups. For example, MCS children whose mothers had no educational qualifications were fifty percent more likely to be thin RRR 1.5 CI: 1.24, 1.8 than those whose mothers had a degree. These patterns were attenuated but remained after adjusting for early life characteristics.

ConclusionsChildren from more disadvantaged backgrounds are at elevated relative risk of thinness as well as obesity. Researchers and policymakers should consider environmental influences on thinness in addition to overweight and obesity.

KeywordsChildhood thinness Socio-economic inequalities Early life characteristics AbbreviationsBMIBody mass index

CIConfidence interval

IMDIndex of Multiple Deprivation

IOTFInternational Obesity Task Force

MCSMillennium Cohort Study

NCMPNational Child Measurement Programme

NS-SECNational Statistical Socio-economic Classification


RRRRelative risk ratio

SECSocio-economic circumstances

SOASuper Output Area

WHOWorld Health Organisation

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12939-015-0187-6 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Anna Pearce - Emeline Rougeaux - Catherine Law

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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