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Socioeconomic status in childhood and obesity in adults: a population-based study

This paper, published in Revista de Saúde Pública, aimed to determine the relationship between socioeconomic status (SS) in childhood and obesity in adult life. It conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a population of 1,222 adults in Florianópolis, Southern Brazil. Socioeconomic status was determined using the participant’s parents level of education as a proxy. Adult obesity was determined as a combination of BMI and waist circumference (WC).

The results showed a difference between genders. It was found that women with lower SS in childhood had a higher mean BMI and WC in adulthood. While in men, higher SS in childhood was found to be associated with increased BMI and WC in adulthood. It is suggested that this pattern is related to the income of the country, meaning countries of a similar income share this pattern. Although inconclusive, it raises the interesting point that patterns of obesity and socioeconomic status vary in different countries, so researchers must be careful when making assumptions about these two factors.

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