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Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2016 Mar 1;3(1):113-124. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Connecting the Dots in Childhood Obesity Disparities: A Review of Growth Patterns from Birth to Pre-Adolescence.

Author information

1
Oregon Health & Science University, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, CB669 Portland, OR 97239-3098.
2
Portland State University; OHSU-PSU School of Public Health 470H Urban Center; 506 SW Mill St. Portland, OR 37201 (P) 503.725.5182 (F) 503.725.5100 lynne.messer@pdx.edu.
3
University of Minnesota, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health 1300 S 2 St, Ste 300 Minneapolis, MN 55454 nyga0079@umn.edu.
4
Oregon Health & Science University, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, CB669 Portland, OR 97239-3098 (P) 503-418-9810 coburne@ohsu.edu.

Abstract

In this review, we considered how disparities in obesity emerge between birth, when socially disadvantaged infants tend to be small, and later in childhood, when socially disadvantaged groups have high risk of obesity. We reviewed epidemiologic evidence of socioeconomic and racial/ethnic differences in growth from infancy to pre-adolescence. Minority race/ethnicity and lower socioeconomic status was associated with rapid weight gain in infancy but not in older age groups, and social differences in linear growth and relative weight were unclear. Infant feeding practices was the most consistent mediator of social disparities in growth, but mediation analysis was uncommon and other factors have only begun to be explored. Complex life course processes challenge the field of social epidemiology to develop innovative study designs and analytic techniques with which to pose and test challenging yet impactful research questions about how obesity disparities evolve throughout childhood.

KEYWORDS:

Ethnic groups; Obesity; Socioeconomic factors; child; infant; longitudinal

PMID:
27172171
PMCID:
PMC4860358
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s40471-016-0065-9

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