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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2336-2347; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062336
Article

Influence of Maternal and Child Lifestyle-Related Characteristics on the Socioeconomic Inequality in Overweight and Obesity among 5-year-old Children; The “Be Active, Eat Right” Study

1,* , 1
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1 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC-University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Dr Molewaterplein 50, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands 2 Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences & EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands 3 Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam 1007 MB, the Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 April 2013 / Revised: 21 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequalities in Health)
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Abstract

It is unclear whether the socioeconomic inequality in prevalence of overweight and obesity is already present among very young children. This study investigates the association between overweight and socioeconomic status (SES, with maternal educational level as an indicator of SES) among 5-year-old children. This cross-sectional study uses baseline data from 5-year-olds of Dutch ethnicity (n = 5,582) and their mothers collected for the “Be active, eat right” study. Compared to children of mothers with the highest educational level, for children of mothers with the lowest educational level the odds ratio (adjusted for demographic characteristics) for having overweight was 2.10 (95% confidence interval: 1.57–2.82), and for having obesity was 4.18 (95% confidence interval: 2.32–7.55). Addition of maternal and child lifestyle-related characteristics decreased the odds ratios for overweight and obesity by 26.4% and 42.1%, respectively. The results show that an inverse SES-overweight/obesity association is already present at elementary school entry, and that watching TV by mother and child, the child consuming breakfast and, especially maternal weight status, are contributing factors in this association. These results should be taken into account when developing policies to reduce inequalities in (childhood) health.
Keywords: preschool child; overweight; obesity; social class; lifestyle preschool child; overweight; obesity; social class; lifestyle
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Veldhuis, L.; Vogel, I.; van Rossem, L.; Renders, C.M.; HiraSing, R.A.; Mackenbach, J.P.; Raat, H. Influence of Maternal and Child Lifestyle-Related Characteristics on the Socioeconomic Inequality in Overweight and Obesity among 5-year-old Children; The “Be Active, Eat Right” Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2336-2347.

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