Bann, David et al. | Socioeconomic inequalities in childhood and adolescent body-mass index, weight, and height from 1953 to 2015: an analysis of four longitudinal, observational, British birth cohort studies | The Lancet Public Health | Vol. 0 | 0 | ePub | Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30045-8
Researchers from University College London examined socioeconomic inequalities in childhood body- mass index (BMI). Previous research findings revealed an association between rich countries and childhood-adolescent weight status, this study sought to address uncertainty surrounding how these markers (height, weight and BMI) have changed over time in Britain.
The longitudinal study looked at data from four longitudinal, observational, British birth cohort studies from 1946, 1958, 1970 and 2001. They categorised those in the 1946, 1958 and 1970 studies as the earlier-born cohorts and those from the 2001 cohort study as the later- born cohort. They found that although inequalities traditionally associated with height and weight narrowed or reversed, whereas differences in BMI between the poorest and wealthiest children expanded.
While there was little inequality in childhood BMI in the earlier-born cohorts, inequalities were present in the 2001 cohort and widened from childhood to adolescence in the 1958–2001 cohort. Their research has identified an association between obesity and poverty. According to the researchers, “these substantial changes highlight the impact of societal changes on child and adolescent growth and the insufficiency of previous policies in preventing obesity and its socioeconomic inequality. As such, new and effective policies are required to reduce BMI inequalities in childhood and adolescence.”
The full article is available from The Lancet Public Health
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Related: The Lancet’s comment Trends in childhood height and weight, and socioeconomic inequalities can be read here
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