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Articles

Title: Changes in structure and socioeconomic position of the family as determinants of overweight in adolescents

Author:
Izabela Tabak, Anna Oblacińska, Maria Jodkowska, Krystyna Mikiel-Kostyra
Type:
Original articles
Language:
PL
Journal:
Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Year:
2012
Volume:
18
Number:
2
Start page:
70
Final page:
75
ISSN:
2081-237X
Keywords:
overweight, adolescents, family structure, socioeconomic status
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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.