Journal of Biosocial Science 46 (4):449-461 (2014)

SummaryThe aim of this paper was to establish whether the influence of socioeconomic factors on BMI and the prevalence of underweight and overweight changes with age. The data were obtained from 1008 schoolgirls aged 16–18 years for whom earlier data on weight and height were available. Their height and body mass were measured and their BMIs calculated. Height and weight in early life were assessed by medical records review. The girls were measured by trained school nurses at 7, 9, 14 years of age. Socioeconomic differences in BMI were found to increase with age. Parents' higher education and urban environment were associated with smaller BMI gain between the ages of 7 and 18 years. Among subjects whose mother and/or father had higher education the prevalence of underweight increased with age, and in other groups it remained at a similar level. In the younger age categories underweight was less frequent in subjects from towns than those from rural areas, while in the older categories the opposite tendency was found. As subjects grew up, there was a decline in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in all groups. Parental education and place of residence seem to influence weight status in a different way in childhood than during adolescence.
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DOI 10.1017/s002193201300031x
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