Title: Changes in structure and socioeconomic position of the family as determinants of overweight in adolescents
- Izabela Tabak, Anna Oblacińska, Maria Jodkowska, Krystyna Mikiel-Kostyra
- Original articles
- Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
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- Final page:
- overweight, adolescents, family structure, socioeconomic status
Introduction: Previous studies on relationships between the current family structure, socioeconomic status and
family members' body mass don't give unequivocal results. A life course perspective evaluates the contribution
of early life factors jointly with later life factors to identify risk and protective processes.
Objectives: The relationship between economic status, family structure in first and thirteenth year of life, their
changes in this period and overweight among 13-year olds in Poland.
Participants and methods: A study sample was the prospective cohort of 11 937 children enrolled in the observation
in neonatal period, examined in the third year of life (questionnaire survey of 1250 mothers) and at the age
of thirteen (561 children and their parents fulfilled questionnaires, children's height and weight were measured).
Overweight criteria was BMI >85 percentile using WHO 2007 growth reference.
Results: Higher prevalence of overweight was found in adolescents living in single-parent families than in 2-parent
families (30.2% vs. 19.5%; p=0.049). The highest prevalence of adolescents' overweight was observed in
families, whose structure changed during 13 years (in "broken" families - 32.7%, in reconstructed - 36.4%,
p=0.033); the risk of overweight in these children increased twice compared to intact families. Adolescents from
families whose reported economic status worsened during 13 years, were twice more likely to be overweight than
their peers from middle and high economic status families (p=0.057).
Conclusions: The prevalence of overweight among adolescents in 2-parent families is significantly lower than in
other family types. Unfavorable changes in family economic status and structure are the strongest predictors of
overweight in 13-year-olds.