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Am J Public Health. 2009 Mar;99(3):527-32. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.130575. Epub 2008 Dec 23.

Early childhood poverty and adult body mass index.

Author information

1
Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. kziol-guest@icpny.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We estimated associations between poverty in early, middle, and later childhood and adult body mass index to further elucidate the effects of socioeconomic status on health.

METHODS:

We conducted secondary analyses of data from men and women (N = 885) born between 1968 and 1975 who were tracked between their prenatal and birth years and adulthood in the nationally representative Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We used multivariate regression techniques and spline models to estimate the relationship between income in different stages of childhood and adult body mass index, overweight, and obesity. We controlled for other family characteristics, including income in other periods of childhood.

RESULTS:

Mean annual family income in the prenatal and birth years for children whose annual family incomes averaged less than $25,000 was significantly associated with increased adult body mass index, but mean annual family income between 1 and 5 years of age and between 6 and 15 years of age was not.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results indicated that economic conditions in the earliest period of life (during the prenatal and birth years) may play an important role in eventual anthropometric measures.

PMID:
19106427
PMCID:
PMC2661458
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2007.130575
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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