Study Finds Early Life Risk Factors Can Determine Disparities in Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is more prevalent in children with racial and ethnic disparities, and may be determined by risk factors in infancy and early childhood, according to a study published June 3 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Although the BMI z scores were higher in black and Hispanic children, the study found that BMI was reduced for black and Hispanic children when adjustments were made for socioeconomic confounder and parental BMI. However, this change was not seen when adjustments for pregnancy risk factors were made. Additionally, the study found that at age seven, overweight and obesity among black and Hispanic children was almost double that of white children.
"Many early life risk factors for childhood obesity are more prevalent among blacks and Hispanics than among whites and may explain the higher prevalence of obesity among racial/ethnic minority children," the authors note. They conclude that findings "suggest that racial/ethnic disparities in childhood obesity may be explained by factors operating in infancy and early childhood and that eliminating these factors could eliminate the disparities in childhood obesity."
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