Prevalence and Determinants of Overweight and Obesity Among Preschool-Aged Children from Migrant and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Contexts

Woronko, C., Merry, L., Uckun, S., Cuerrier, A., Li, P., Hille, J., & Van Hulst, A. (2023, mars)


Elsevier | 29 p.

Among migrant and socioeconomically disadvantaged preschool-aged children followed in a community-based social perinatal primary care centre in Montreal, Canada, we estimate the prevalence of overweight/obesity and identify determinants of body mass index z-score (zBMI) at 4-5 years old. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using electronic medical records of 275 child-mother dyads followed from birth to 4-5 years. Anthropometric measures and established maternal, perinatal and child risk factors for childhood obesity were examined. Age- and sex-specific zBMI at 4-5-year were computed and categorized according to WHO standards. Linear regression with model averaging was used to identify early life factors associated with zBMI. At 4-5 years, children’s weight status was classified as underweight (1.5%), normal weight (69.7%), at-risk-of-overweight (19.2%), overweight (6.9%), and obesity (2.7%). Primiparity (0.51, 95% CI 0.24; 0.78), higher birthweight (1.04, 95% CI 0.70; 1.37), accelerated weight gain in the first year of life (0.21, 95% CI 0.13; 0.31), and introduction to solid foods before 6 months (0.89, 95% CI 0.42; 1.36) were associated with higher zBMIs, while less than high school education (-0.50, 95% CI -0.95; -0.05) and higher gestational age (-0.14, 95% CI -0.21; -0.05) were associated with lower zBMI at 4-5 years. Overweight/obesity is prevalent among preschool-aged children from migrant and socioeconomically disadvantaged contexts and is associated with known risk factors. Community-based social perinatal care provided early in life could support healthy weight gain among children living in contexts of vulnerability. Future research identifying underlying mechanisms is needed.


Funding Declaration: We would like to acknowledge the support of Manon Lapierre, Director of Operations at La Maison Bleue, towards the realisation of this project. Additionally, we recognize the support provided to C.Woronko by the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec Bourses de fin d’études à la maîtrise – 2021-2022. A Cuerrier acknowledges the support provided by the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University, for the Student Research Support received. L Merry, P Li and A Van Hulst acknowledge the support received through Fonds de la recherche du Québec en santé Research Salary Awards.