The social patterning of fat and lean mass in a contemporary cohort of children

Authors


Unit of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, Division of Child Health, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, UK. Fax: 44 117 331 1704. E-mail: Andy.Ness@bris.ac.uk

Abstract

Studies of the social patterning of obesity in children using body mass index have reported inconsistent results. We explored the association of social class with fat mass and lean mass in a contemporary cohort of children measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. We observed a clear social gradient of fat mass (with children of higher social class having a lower fat mass), but no gradient in lean mass or trunk fat mass. Our data show that inequalities in adiposity are present in primary school children and suggest that social inequalities in childhood obesity may have been underestimated in previous studies.

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