Socioeconomic Inequalities in Childhood Obesity in the United Kingdom: A Systematic Review of the Literature

El-Sayed, Abdulrahman M.; Scarborough, Peter; Galea, Sandro

Childhood obesity is a major public health challenge worldwide. There is a growing literature documenting socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity risk. Here we draw inference from the literature about inequalities in childhood obesity risk in the UK. We summarize and appraise the extant peer-reviewed literature about socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity in the UK. Common area-level indices of socioeconomic position, including the Carstairs Deprivation Index, the Index of Multiple Deprivation and the Townsend Deprivation Index, as well as common household and individual-level metrics of childhood socioeconomic position, including head-of-household social class and maternal education, were generally inversely associated with childhood obesity in the UK. We summarize key methodological limitations to the extant literature and suggest avenues for future research.


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Obesity Facts (The European Journal of Obesity)

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February 17, 2014