Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. In a cohort of infants, low socioeconomic status was associated with increased body mass index and accelerated growth during early infancy.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Childhood obesity is a growing public health concern as it is associated with poorer health outcomes later in life. Infancy body mass index (BMI) has been shown to be associated with increased later adiposity. Another risk factor for childhood obesity is found to be rapid and catch-up growth during infancy. Multiple studies have demonstrated that poverty and other social determinants of health can result in major adverse health outcomes. However, there are no studies examining the role of SES on infancy (0 – 12 months) BMI trajectory. Therefore, this study examined the differences of BMI trajectory between normal birth weight (NBW) and low birth weight (LBW) infants with socioeconomic disparities. The study included 387 participants with an average (SD) gestational age of 37.4 (2.9) weeks and average (SD) birth weight of 2.64 (0.69) kg. The study found that low SES was associated with higher BMI in the infants for LBW group at 6 months and 12 months [BMI difference at 6 months, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.03 – 0.53); BMI difference at 12 months, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.01 – 0.43). However, these significant differences were not observed in the NBW infants’ group. Overall, the study concluded that low SES is associated with higher BMI for LBW infants at 6 and 12 months when compared to high SES infants. This study answered an important clinical question, filling a gap in literature. However, future larger studies are needed that take into account confounding factors to further validate these results.

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