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Socioeconomic and early-life factors and risk of being overweight or obese in children of Swedish- and foreign-born parents
Centre for Health Equity Studies, Karolinska Institutet/Stockholm University, Sweden.
Centre for Health Equity Studies, Karolinska Institutet/Stockholm University, Sweden.
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Socialpediatrisk forskning/Sarkadi)
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2013 (English)In: Pediatric Research, ISSN 0031-3998, E-ISSN 1530-0447, Vol. 74, no 3, 356-363 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Ethnic minorities/immigrants have differential health as compared with natives. The epidemic in child overweight/obesity (OW/OB) in Sweden is leveling oft but lower socioeconomic groups and immigrants/ethnic minorities may not have benefited equally from this trend. We investigated whether nonethnic Swedish children are at increased risk for being OW/OB and whether these associations are mediated by parental socioeconomic position (SEP) and/or early-life factors such as birth weight, maternal smoking, BMI, and breastfeeding. METHODS: Data on 10,628 singleton children (51% boys, mean age: 4.8 y, born during the period 2000-2004) residing in Uppsala were analyzed. OW/OB was computed using the International Obesity Task Force's sex- and age-specific cutoffs. The mother's nativity was used as proxy for ethnicity. Logistic regression was used to analyze ethnicity-OW/OB associations. RESULTS: Children of North African, Iranian, South American, and Turkish ethnicity had increased odds for being overweight/obese as compared with children of Swedish ethnicity (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 2.60 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.57-4.27), 1.67 (1.03-2.72), 3.00 (1.86-4.80), and 2.90 (1.73-4.88), respectively). Finnish children had decreased odds for being overweight/obese (adjusted OR: 0.53 (0.32-0.90)). CONCLUSION: Ethnic differences in a child's risk for OW/OB exist in Sweden that cannot be explained by SEP or maternal or birth factors. As OW/OB often tracks into adulthood, more effective public health policies that intervene at an early age are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 74, no 3, 356-363 p.
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Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209487DOI: 10.1038/pr.2013.108ISI: 000324608600018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209487DiVA: diva2:658319
Available from: 2013-10-21 Created: 2013-10-21 Last updated: 2014-01-09Bibliographically approved

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