According to data gathered between 2018 and 2019, British researchers at University College London were able to show that adolescents raised with low socioeconomic status were at a higher risk of obesity.
Analyzing data from more than 10,000 adolescents as part of the Millennium Cohort Study, including their body mass index, yielded the following striking results: one in five young people were considered obese by age 17, while one in seven were overweight.
“Obesity rates among teenagers were strongly linked to household income, with those from the least well-off households the worst affected,” a news release states.
“Using income at birth as an indicator of socioeconomic status, the research showed that levels of overweight and obesity were higher among poorer children across the whole of childhood, and this socioeconomic gap became more pronounced as the cohort moved through adolescence.”
“Without ambitious policy action, we expect this concerning trend to continue in future and have long-term health consequences. Action on obesity now will help to protect the NHS in future,” the news release affirms.
Obesity among adolescents has always been a concern for public health officials, but the findings shed new light on what may constitute a higher risk for obesity from measuring socioeconomic status at birth.