Trends in overweight, obesity, and waist-to-height ratio among Australian children from linguistically diverse backgrounds, 1997 to 2015

Louise L. Hardy, Kai Jin, Seema Mihrshahi, Ding Ding

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Abstract

Objective To report the cross-sectional prevalence and 18-year trends in overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity among Australian children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Subjects/Methods Four cross-sectional population health surveys conducted among children (age 4-16 years; n=26, 449) in 1997-2004-2010-2015 in New South Wales, (NSW) Australia. Adiposity outcomes were measured by trained field staff using standard procedures. Binomial regression models with a robust error variance were used to estimate prevalence ratio (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for overweight and obesity, obesity, and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) ≥ 0.5 for children from Asian, European, and Middle Eastern language backgrounds compared with children from English-speaking backgrounds, adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics.

Results Over time, children from Middle Eastern language backgrounds were consistently more likely to be overweight-obese (PR: 1.29–1.42), obese (PR: 1.49–1.65), and have WHtR ≥ 0.5 (PR: 1.42–1.90), compared with children from English-speaking backgrounds. Children from European language backgrounds generally had higher prevalence and children from Asian language backgrounds had lower prevalence, compared with children from English-speaking backgrounds. Between 1997 and 2015, there were significant trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined among children from English-speaking (PR: 1.06, 95%CI: 1.02, 1.09), Middle Eastern (PR: 1.14, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.24), and Asian language backgrounds (PR: 1.14, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.24). The prevalence of WHtr ≥ 0.5 increased among children from English-speaking (PR: 1.21, 95%CI: 1.13, 1.31) and Middle Eastern (PR: 1.35, 95%CI: 1.16, 1.56) language backgrounds.

Conclusions Overall, the prevalence of overweight and obesity and abdominal obesity is high among NSW children from CALD backgrounds and has increased over time. This suggests that there is a greater scope in understanding, developing, and implementing interventions across the early life-course of children from CALD backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Volume43
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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