Objectives: To examine whether there is an association between neighbourhood deprivation and diagnosed childhood obesity, after accounting for family- and individual-level socio-demographic characteristics.
Methods: An open cohort of all children aged 0-14 years was followed between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010. Childhood residential locations were geocoded and classified according to neighbourhood deprivation. Data were analysed by multilevel logistic regression, with family- and individual-level characteristics at the first level and level of neighbourhood deprivation at the second level.
Results: During the study period, among a total of 948,062 children, 10,799 were diagnosed with childhood obesity. Age-adjusted cumulative incidence for diagnosed childhood obesity increased with increasing level of neighbourhood deprivation. Incidence of diagnosed childhood obesity increased with increasing neighbourhood-level deprivation across all family and individual-level socio-demographic categories. The odds ratio (OR) for diagnosed childhood obesity for those living in high-deprivation neighbourhoods versus those living in low-deprivation neighbourhoods was 2.44 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.22-2.68). High neighbourhood deprivation remained significantly associated with higher odds of diagnosed childhood obesity after adjustment for family- and individual-level socio-demographic characteristics (OR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.55-1.89). Age, middle level family income, maternal marital status, low level education, living in large cities, advanced paternal and maternal age, family history of obesity, parental history of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, alcoholism and personal history of diabetes were all associated with higher odds of diagnosed childhood obesity.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that neighbourhood characteristics affect the odds of diagnosed childhood obesity independently of family- and individual-level socio-demographic characteristics.
© 2014 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.