224636 Impact of socioeconomic status and upward mobility on rural childhood overweight and obesity

Monday, November 8, 2010

Margaret Demment , Division of Nutrition, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Christine Olson, PhD , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Introduction: Rural youth are now experiencing higher rates of overweight/obesity than their urban counterparts. Compounding the problems of youth overweight, rural communities face barriers in addressing obesity, such as higher poverty levels, less access to healthy foods, and limited resources. Understanding the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) over time on rural youth overweight/obesity is crucial for targeting interventions and policy. Methodology: This longitudinal analysis in a rural, central New York sample (n=595, 44% born to families of low income) investigates the role of SES on youth overweight/obesity at critical time points for the development of obesity: ages 3, 6, and 13 years. Mothers of the youth were enrolled at their first prenatal visit and followed until two years post partum. The medical records of the children were audited 2009 for anthropometric data and other factors thought to influence health and weight. Two measures of SES will be used: a composite score representing SES at birth and a measure of the changes in SES over time. Expected Results: The research tests the hypotheses that: (1) youth with low SES at birth will be at greater risk for overweight/obesity and (2) youth who display upward mobility, a move from lower to higher SES through their youth, will be less at risk for overweight/obesity their counterparts. Discussion: Understanding of when, whom, and under what conditions SES influences a youth's risk of obesity is essential for targeting health promotion and reducing health disparities between rural youth.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Analyze the impact of a rural youth’s SES on their risk for overweight and obesity at critical developmental periods. 2. Identify the role of socioeconomic status (SES) on rural youth overweight and obesity via possible biological and social mechanisms. 3. Discuss implications for intervention and policy based on the impact of SES at critical developmental periods.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the analysis of data mentioned in this abstract. Currently, I am a doctoral student in Community Nutrition at Cornell University, where I continue to learn about obesity from a environmental perspective.

Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.