Patterns of body size and adiposity among UK Children of South Asian, black African-Caribbean and white European origin: Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE Study)

Division of Community Health Sciences, St George's, University of London, London, UK.
International Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 9.18). 11/2010; 40(1):33-44. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyq180
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to examine adiposity patterns in UK South Asian, black African-Caribbean and white European children using a range of adiposity markers. A cross-sectional survey in London, Birmingham and Leicester primary schools was conducted. Weight, height, waist circumference, skinfold thickness values (biceps, triceps, subscapular and suprailiac) were measured. Fat mass was derived from bioimpedance; optimally height-standardized indices were derived for all adiposity markers. Ethnic origin was based on parental self-report. Multilevel models were used to obtain adjusted means and ethnic differences adjusted for gender, age, month, observer and school (fitted as a random effect). A total of 5887 children aged 9-10 years participated (response rate 68%), including 1345 white Europeans, 1523 South Asians and 1570 black African-Caribbeans.
Compared with white Europeans, South Asians had a higher sum of all skinfolds and fat mass percentage, and their body mass index (BMI) was lower. South Asians were slightly shorter but use of optimally height-standardized indices did not materially affect these comparisons. At any given fat mass, BMI was lower in South Asians than white Europeans. In similar comparisons, black African-Caribbeans had a lower sum of all skinfolds but a higher fat mass percentage, and their BMI was higher. Black African-Caribbeans were markedly taller. Use of optimally height-standardized indices yielded markedly different findings; sum of skinfolds index was markedly lower, whereas fat mass index and weight-for-height index were similar. At any given fat mass, BMI was similar in black African-Caribbeans and white Europeans.
UK South Asian children have higher adiposity levels and black African-Caribbeans have similar or lower adiposity levels when compared with white Europeans. However, these differences are not well represented by comparisons based on BMI, which systematically underestimates adiposity in South Asians, and in black African-Caribbeans it overestimates adiposity because of its association with height.

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    • "The BIA is safe, non-invasive, rapid, relatively inexpensive, and suitable for large-scale epidemiologic studies. The BIA also was used for the measurement of body composition in other studies in school-aged children [30] [31]. 7. The information on the socioeconomic status of the children was not obtained in this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level and its association with adiposity, inflammation and oxidative stress in school children. Methods A total of 1488 school children aged 7-11 years were recruited in Harbin, China (latitude: 44°04′N - 46°40′N) in May. Serum 25(OH)D which is an indicator of vitamin D status was determined. Anthropometric data were collected following general physical examinations. Serum lipids, glucose metabolism indices, inflammatory molecules and oxidative stress markers were determined. Dietary intake and physical activity were also assessed. Results The median serum 25(OH)D concentration was 18.4 ng/mL. Of 1488 school children included, 839 (56.4%) had vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL]. Children in the vitamin D deficiency group had significantly higher body weight (34.1±3.8 vs. 31.5±3.3 kg, P < 0.001), body mass index (18.4±2.2 vs. 16.8±1.7 kg/m2, P < 0.001), waist circumference (60.1±8.5 vs. 57.2±7.7 cm, P < 0.001) and percentage of body fat (20.2±2.6 vs. 19.1±2.4 %, P < 0.001), and significantly lower concentrations of serum superoxide dismutase (95.38±12.22 vs. 127.62±15.98 U/mL, P < 0.001) compared to those in the vitamin D sufficiency group. After adjusting for sex, age, body mass index and percentage of body fat, a positive association between serum 25(OH)D and superoxide dismutase was found (β = 0.230, P < 0.001). Conclusions Vitamin D deficiency is common in Harbin school children. Serum 25(OH)D is closely associated with adiposity and superoxide dismutase in school children, suggesting that vitamin D deficiency potentially increases the risk of diseases caused by higher adiposity and oxidative stress.
    Nutrition 09/2014; 30(9). DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2014.02.024 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    • "Data among South Asian children are limited from North America. In the UK, school-aged, South Asian children have lower levels of physical activity compared with White Caucasian children [35] and have demonstrated higher caloric and total fat intake [48] and increased adiposity, compared with White Caucasian children [49]. Reducing sedentary behaviors such as screen time has been associated with improving obesity [50]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The adoption of health behaviors characterized by minimal energy expenditure and overconsumption of energy has led to cardiometabolic risk factors in pregnancy, childhood, and youth, all of which increase the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The propensity to develop abdominal obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors appears to disproportionally affect non-white ethnic groups. While the majority of observational research has been conducted in populations of European origin, studies in non-white ethnic groups across the life-course are underway and there is evidence that unique ethnic-specific differences exist. This review will focus on the life-course determinants of obesity and its related cardio-metabolic risk factors among diverse ethnic groups including people of Afro-Caribbean origin, South Asian, East Asian, and indigenous ancestry.
    Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports 10/2013; 7(5):326-335. DOI:10.1007/s12170-013-0329-6
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    • "We hypothesized that metabolic sensitivity to adiposity would be greater in South Asians than white Europeans. Several adiposity markers were assessed, including measures based on skinfold thickness and bioimpedance, which provide robust measures of adiposity in this multiethnic population (19), as well as BMI and waist circumference. We have also included data on leptin, an adipokine with circulating levels that are strongly correlated with total body fat percentage (20). "
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes risk between South Asians and white Europeans originate before adult life and are not fully explained by higher adiposity levels in South Asians. Although metabolic sensitivity to adiposity may differ between ethnic groups, this has been little studied in childhood. We have therefore examined the associations among adiposity, insulin resistance, and glycemia markers in children of different ethnic origins.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Cross-sectional study of 4,633 9- to 10-year-old children (response rate 68%) predominantly of South Asian, black African-Caribbean, and white European origin (n = 1,266, 1,176, and 1,109, respectively) who had homeostasis model assessments of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), glycemia markers (HbA(1c) and fasting glucose), and adiposity (BMI, waist circumference, skinfold thicknesses, and bioimpedance [fat mass]).RESULTSAll adiposity measures were positively associated with HOMA-IR in all ethnic groups, but associations were stronger among South Asians compared to black African-Caribbeans and white Europeans. For a 1-SD increase in fat mass percentage, percentage differences in HOMA-IR were 37.5 (95% CI 33.3-41.7%), 29.7 (25.8-33.8%), and 27.0% (22.9-31.2%), respectively (P interaction < 0.001). All adiposity markers were positively associated with HbA(1c) in South Asians and black African-Caribbeans but not in white Europeans; for a 1-SD increase in fat mass percentage, percentage differences in HbA(1c) were 0.04 (95% CI 0.03-0.06%), 0.04 (0.02-0.05%), and 0.02% (-0.00 to 0.04%), respectively (P interaction < 0.001). Patterns for fasting glucose were less consistent.CONCLUSIONS South Asian children are more metabolically sensitive to adiposity. Early prevention or treatment of childhood obesity may be critical for type 2 diabetes prevention, especially in South Asians.
    Diabetes care 01/2013; 36(6). DOI:10.2337/dc12-1726 · 8.42 Impact Factor
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