Chapter

Factors related to obesity

Roberto J. Rona and Susan Chinn

in The National Study of Health and Growth

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780192629197
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723612 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192629197.003.0007
Factors related to obesity

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The measures used and analyzed in this chapter were weight-for-height, triceps skinfold thickness, and occasionally subscapular thickness. The analyses were based on standard deviation score or an index of weight-for height. Parental body mass index (BMI) was highly associated with all the measures of fatness of children. Having a single male parent and mother working less than twenty-five hours a week were associated with weight-for-height, reflecting the importance of family life as a risk factor of obesity. Mother's age at child's birth and child's birthweight were associated with fatness in younger children. Children of Indian descent were lighter than white children, and children of Afro–Caribbean descent were heavier but leaner than white children. The number of children in the family was negatively associated with fatness in white families. Social class was not associated with adiposity, an association which became apparent later on. These analyses showed differences in the pattern of associations between ethnic groups reflecting differences in genetic and environmental differences.

Keywords: birthweight; ethnic background; family environment; parental BMI; subscapular skinfold thickness; triceps skinfold thickness; weight-for-height

Chapter.  3506 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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