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Socioeconomic position and body composition in childhood in high- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Bridger Staatz, C; Kelly, Y; Lacey, RE; Blodgett, JM; George, A; Arnot, M; Walker, E; (2021) Socioeconomic position and body composition in childhood in high- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. International Journal of Obesity 10.1038/s41366-021-00899-y. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The relation between socioeconomic position (SEP) and obesity measured by body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight for height, has been extensively reviewed in children, showing consistent associations between disadvantaged SEP and higher BMI in high-income countries (HICs) and lower BMI in middle-income countries (MICs). Fat mass (FM), a more accurate measure of adiposity, and fat-free mass (FFM) are not captured by BMI, but have been shown to track from childhood to adulthood, and be important for cardiovascular health and functional outcomes in later life. It is not clear whether body composition is associated with SEP. We systematically reviewed the association between SEP and body composition in childhood. METHODS: A systematic review was carried out following PRISMA guidelines. The protocol was pre-registered with PROSPERO (CRD42019119937). Original studies in the English language, which examined the association between SEP and body composition in childhood, were included. An electronic search of three databases was conducted. Two independent reviewers carried out screening, data extraction and quality assessment. Due to heterogeneity in results, a narrative synthesis was conducted. Heterogeneity in findings according to SEP, sex, body composition measure and country income level was investigated. RESULTS: 50 papers were included, the majority from HICs. No papers were from low-income countries. Disadvantage in childhood was associated with greater FM and lower FFM in HICs, but with lower FM and lower FFM in MICs. When measures of FFM indexed to height were used there was no evidence of associations with SEP. In HICs, more studies reported associations between disadvantaged SEP and higher FM among girls comparative to boys. CONCLUSIONS: Inequalities in FM are evident in HICs and, in the opposite direction, in MICs and follow similar trends to inequalities for BMI. Inequalities in height are likely important in understanding inequalities in FFM.

Type: Article
Title: Socioeconomic position and body composition in childhood in high- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and narrative synthesis
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41366-021-00899-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-021-00899-y
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
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 Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
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 > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132293
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