Double disadvantage: The influence of ethnicity over socioeconomic position on childhood overweight and obesity: Findings from an inner urban population of primary school children

Elizabeth WATERS, Rosie ASHBOLT, Lisa GIBBS, Michael BOOTH, Anthea MAGAREY, Lisa GOLD, Sing Kai LO, Kay GIBBONS, Julie GREEN, Thea O'CONNOR, Jan GARRARD, Boyd SWINBURN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To examine the relationship between overweight/obesity in children, socioeconomic status and ethnicity/cultural background. Design. Cross-sectional survey of children aged 4–13 years. Setting. A total of 23 primary (elementary) schools in an inner urban municipality of Melbourne, Australia. Participants. A total of 2685 children aged 4–13 years and their parents. Main exposure measures. Ethnicity/cultural background – maternal region of birth; socioeconomic position (SEP) indicators – maternal and paternal educational attainment, family employment status, possession of a healthcare card, ability to buy food, indicator of disadvantage (Socioeconomic Index for Areas, SEIFA) score for school; parental weight status. Main outcome measure. Prevalence of overweight/obesity. Results. Prevalence of overweight/obesity approached 1 in 3 (31%) in this sample. Prevalence of overweight/obesity was greater for children of both North Africa and Middle Eastern background and children of Southern, South Eastern and Eastern European background compared with children of Australian background. This difference remained after adjusting for age, sex, height, clustering by school, SEP indicators and parental weight status; odds ratio, OR=1.57 (95% confidence interval, CI 1.12–2.19) and 1.88 (95%CI 1.24–2.85), respectively. Conclusions. There is a clear independent effect of ethnicity above and beyond the effect of socioeconomic status on overweight and obesity in children. Further research is required to explore the mediators of this gradient. Copyright © 2008 Informa UK Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Obesity
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Urban Population
Pediatric Obesity
Obesity
Social Class
Mothers
Weights and Measures
Northern Africa
Aptitude
Cluster Analysis
Cross-Sectional Studies
Parents
Odds Ratio
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Parturition
Confidence Intervals
Delivery of Health Care
Food
Research

Citation

Waters, E., Ashbolt, R., Gibbs, L., Booth, M., Magarey, A., Gold, L., . . . Swinburn, B. (2008). Double disadvantage: The influence of ethnicity over socioeconomic position on childhood overweight and obesity: Findings from an inner urban population of primary school children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 3(4), 196-204. doi: 10.1080/17477160802141846

Keywords

  • Children
  • Ethnicity
  • Obesity
  • Cluster randomised controlled trial
  • School
  • Socioeconomic position