Adverse socioeconomic conditions in childhood can have lasting effects on health, but evidence is lacking from prospective studies concerning the effects of early poverty on abdominal obesity in adulthood. Cross-sectional studies in adults from middle and high-income countries show that current socioeconomic status is inversely related to obesity in women, but the pattern in men is not consistent. A systematic review was undertaken to assess the influence of early socioeconomic status on waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio in adulthood. Thirteen relevant articles were located (five cross-sectional and eight cohort), including only one from a middle-income country and the remainder from high-income settings. In all the studies, childhood poverty was associated with higher levels of abdominal obesity in women. In men, the associations were weaker, and no clear pattern emerged.


Food Science | Nutrition

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