Childcare, height and BMI among female Polish university students, 2005

Econ Hum Biol. 2007 Dec;5(3):435-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2006.11.001. Epub 2006 Dec 29.


The aim of this study is to consider whether socio-economic factors are related to the type of childcare and whether the type of childcare, in turn, affects adult stature and BMI. The sample includes 783 female students aged 20-24 (birth cohort of 1981-1985) from the south of Poland. Those whose parents have university education, live in a city and have no siblings attend day-care facilities more frequently than others of the same age, while those who grew up at home under their mothers' care, most frequently live in villages, come from large families and their parents have vocational education. Variables which are associated with being taller include material conditions and the type of childcare received. Women who had attended day-care centres are 2.4cm shorter than girls brought up at home by their mothers. Adult BMI values are influenced by educational level of the mother. The results suggest that mothers who work often do so at the cost of time devoted to the family which influences health and the rate of their children's development.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Height*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Child Care*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Growth and Development
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity*
  • Overweight*
  • Poland
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students*
  • Universities*