Logo of archdischArchives of Disease in ChildhoodVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Arch Dis Child. 1998 Jun; 78(6): 513–517.
PMCID: PMC1717601

Trends in growth and obesity in ethnic groups in Britain


AIM—To estimate trends in growth for 5 to 11 year old ethnic minority and inner city children and comparative representative samples from 1983 to 1994.
DESIGN—Mixed longitudinal.
SUBJECTS—At each of six surveys, more than 2000 inner city white, 1500 Urdu or Punjabi speaking, 5000 English representative white, 3000 Scottish representative white, and around 1000 Afro-Caribbean, 500 falling to 300 Gujarati speaking, and 260 increasing to 300other Indian children.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS—Height, weight for height, and triceps skinfold thickness.
RESULTS—Height increased in all inner city groups by ~ 1.5 cm, but group differences were maintained. Trends in triceps skinfold varied, but increased by 4-12% in Indian subcontinent girls. Weight for height increased generally. Inner city white children showed conflicting trends in weight for height and fatness.
CONCLUSIONS—Afro-Caribbean children are maintaining their tall, slim build, but other groups emphasise the diversity of obesity patterns in a multi-ethnic society, with a predominant trend towards greater obesity. Monitoring of these groups should continue.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (144K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Macintyre S. A review of the social patterning and significance of measures of height, weight, blood pressure and respiratory function. Soc Sci Med. 1988;27(4):327–337. [PubMed]
  • UK paediatric clinical research under threat. Arch Dis Child. 1997 Jan;76(1):1–3. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rona RJ, Chinn S. National Study of Health and Growth: social and biological factors associated with height of children from ethnic groups living in England. Ann Hum Biol. 1986 Sep-Oct;13(5):453–471. [PubMed]
  • Gortmaker SL, Dietz WH, Jr, Sobol AM, Wehler CA. Increasing pediatric obesity in the United States. Am J Dis Child. 1987 May;141(5):535–540. [PubMed]
  • Gidding SS, Bao W, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. Effects of secular trends in obesity on coronary risk factors in children: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Pediatr. 1995 Dec;127(6):868–874. [PubMed]
  • Rona RJ, Chinn S. National Study of Health and Growth: social and biological factors associated with weight-for-height and triceps skinfold of children from ethnic groups in England. Ann Hum Biol. 1987 May-Jun;14(3):231–248. [PubMed]
  • Chinn S, Rona RJ, Gulliford MC, Hammond J. Weight-for-height in children aged 4-12 years. A new index compared to the normalized body mass index. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1992 Jul;46(7):489–500. [PubMed]
  • Tanner JM, Whitehouse RH, Takaishi M. Standards from birth to maturity for height, weight, height velocity, and weight velocity: British children, 1965. I. Arch Dis Child. 1966 Oct;41(219):454–471. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • TANNER JM, WHITEHOUSE RH. Standards for subcutaneous fat in British children. Percentiles for thickness of skinfolds over triceps and below scapula. Br Med J. 1962 Feb 17;1(5276):446–450. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Chinn S, Rona RJ. Secular trends in weight, weight-for-height and triceps skinfold thickness in primary schoolchildren in England and Scotland from 1972 to 1980. Ann Hum Biol. 1987 Jul-Aug;14(4):311–319. [PubMed]
  • DerSimonian R, Laird N. Meta-analysis in clinical trials. Control Clin Trials. 1986 Sep;7(3):177–188. [PubMed]
  • Cameron N. The growth of London schoolchildren 1904-1966: an analysis of secular trend and intra-county variation. Ann Hum Biol. 1979 Nov-Dec;6(6):505–525. [PubMed]
  • Yip R, Scanlon K, Trowbridge F. Trends and patterns in height and weight status of low-income U.S. children. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1993;33(4-5):409–421. [PubMed]
  • Freedman DS, Srinivasan SR, Valdez RA, Williamson DF, Berenson GS. Secular increases in relative weight and adiposity among children over two decades: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics. 1997 Mar;99(3):420–426. [PubMed]
  • Harlan WR, Landis JR, Flegal KM, Davis CS, Miller ME. Secular trends in body mass in the United States, 1960-1980. Am J Epidemiol. 1988 Nov;128(5):1065–1074. [PubMed]
  • Troiano RP, Flegal KM, Kuczmarski RJ, Campbell SM, Johnson CL. Overweight prevalence and trends for children and adolescents. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1963 to 1991. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995 Oct;149(10):1085–1091. [PubMed]
  • Campaigne BN, Morrison JA, Schumann BC, Falkner F, Lakatos E, Sprecher D, Schreiber GB. Indexes of obesity and comparisons with previous national survey data in 9- and 10-year-old black and white girls: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. J Pediatr. 1994 May;124(5 Pt 1):675–680. [PubMed]
  • Must A, Jacques PF, Dallal GE, Bajema CJ, Dietz WH. Long-term morbidity and mortality of overweight adolescents. A follow-up of the Harvard Growth Study of 1922 to 1935. N Engl J Med. 1992 Nov 5;327(19):1350–1355. [PubMed]
  • van't Hof MA, Roede MJ, Kowalski CJ. A mixed longitudinal data analysis model. Hum Biol. 1977 May;49(2):165–179. [PubMed]

Articles from Archives of Disease in Childhood are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...