Article ID: JE20170081
Background: Although lower household economic status is known to be a risk factor for obesity among school-age children, such an association among toddlers remains unclear. The present study investigated the association between household economic status and obesity in toddlers.
Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study of children aged 4 years attending daycare centers in Japan. Information on subjective household economic status [“affluent”, “neither”, “less affluent”, or “non-affluent”] was collected via questionnaire from the children’s guardians in 2015. Based on measured values of height and weight, obesity was defined using the International Obesity Task Force cut-offs of overweight (BMI ≥17.47 for boys and ≥17.19 for girls). We used the logistic regression model to investigate the association between household economic status and obesity.
Results: Among 1,848 respondents, the prevalence of obesity was 6.8%. Non-affluent household economic status was associated with a significantly higher probability of obesity in toddlers; the multivariate adjusted odds ratio for “non-affluent” households was 2.31 (95% confidence interval, 1.23–4.33) compared with “affluent” households.
Conclusion: Perception of non-affluent economic status by the guardian was associated with a higher probability of toddler obesity. This result suggests that non-affluent household economic status is associated with obesity in toddlers.