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Differences in the relationship of weight to height, and thus the meaning of BMI, according to age, sex, and birth year cohort.

Johnson, W; Norris, T; Bann, D; Cameron, N; Wells, JK; Cole, TJ; Hardy, R; (2020) Differences in the relationship of weight to height, and thus the meaning of BMI, according to age, sex, and birth year cohort. Annals of Human Biology , 47 (2) pp. 199-207. 10.1080/03014460.2020.1737731. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Weight can be adjusted for height using the Benn parameter (kg/mB), where B is the power that minimises the correlation with height. AIMS: To investigate how the Benn parameter changes across age (10–65 years) and time (1956–2015) and differs between sexes. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The sample comprised 49,717 individuals born in 1946, 1958, 1970 or 2001. Cross-sectional estimates of the Benn parameter were produced and cohort differences at ages 10/11 and 42/43 years were examined using linear regression. Multilevel modelling was used to develop trajectories showing how the Benn parameter changed over age from childhood to mid-adulthood in the three older cohorts. RESULTS: The Benn parameter was closest to 2 in childhood but consistently lower across adulthood, particularly in females and the most recent cohort. At ages 10/11 years, the Benn parameter was greater than 3 in both sexes in the 2001 cohort but between 2.2 and 2.7 in the three older cohorts. This difference was estimated to be +0.67 (0.53, 0.81) in males and +0.53 (0.38, 0.68) in females, compared to the 1946 cohort, and was driven by a much higher weight SD in the 2001 cohort. Conversely, at ages 42/43 years, the Benn parameter was lowest in the 1970 cohort due to a slightly lower weight-height correlation. This difference was estimated to be −0.12 (−0.34, 0.10) in males and −0.15 (−0.42, 0.13) in females, compared to the 1946 cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Changes over time in the obesogenic environment appear to have firstly reduced the Benn parameter due to a lowering of the weight-height correlation but secondly and more drastically increased the Benn parameter due to increasing weight variation.

Type: Article
Title: Differences in the relationship of weight to height, and thus the meaning of BMI, according to age, sex, and birth year cohort.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03014460.2020.1737731
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/03014460.2020.1737731
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Benn parameter, Body mass index, birth year cohort, secular trend, trajectory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098289
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