Childhood obesity and socioeconomic status: a novel role for height growth limitation

J. E. Cecil, P. Watt, I. S.L. Murrie, W. Wrieden, D. J. Wallis, M. M. Hetherington, C. Bolton-Smith, C. N.A. Palmer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVE: To assess prevalence and socioeconomic context of overweight and obesity in a cohort of Scottish children. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Primary schools in Dundee, Angus, and Fife, Eastern Scotland, UK. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1240 boys and 1214 girls aged between 4-10y. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Weight, height and body mass index (weight/height2). RESULTS: Overall overweight or obesity prevalence was 24.6%, while prevalence of obesity alone was 6.1%. Individuals from schools with a high level of low-income families were 65% more likely to be overweight as judged by BMI. However, these children weighed the same as more affluent children of the same age, but were 1.26 cm shorter. CONCLUSION: These data confirm the continued increase in childhood obesity in the UK and reveal a role for height-growth limitation in the absence of overall growth restriction, among children from low-income groups. This observation raises important questions regarding socioeconomic environmental factors in promoting the currently increasing levels of obesity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1199-1203
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2005


    • Childhood obesity
    • Growth
    • Height
    • Socioeconomic status

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


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