Interpersonal violence in childhood as a risk factor for obesity: A systematic review of the literature and proposed pathways

Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Obesity Reviews (Impact Factor: 7.86). 03/2011; 12(5):e159-72. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00823.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined the associations between exposure to interpersonal violence in childhood and risk for obesity and central adiposity. Interpersonal violence is defined as behaviour that threatens, attempts or causes physical harm. In addition, we evaluated the evidence for three mechanisms that may connect interpersonal violence to obesity: negative affect, disordered eating and physical inactivity. Based on a literature search of Medline and PsycInfo databases, 36 separate studies were evaluated and ranked based on quality. Approximately 81% of the studies reported a significant positive association between some type of childhood interpersonal violence and obesity, although 83% of the studies were cross-sectional. Associations were consistent for caregiver physical and sexual abuse and peer bullying, and there was mixed evidence for community violence. Although few studies explored mechanisms, early evidence suggests that negative affect and disordered eating may be involved. More prospective studies are needed, as well as studies that examine the mechanisms connecting early childhood victimization to obesity and central adiposity.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract In recent years, many studies have focused on the body of sexual minority women, particularly emphasizing their larger size. These studies rarely offer theoretically-based explanations for the increased weight, nor study the potential consequences (or lack thereof) of being heavier. This paper provides a brief overview of the multitude of factors that might cause or contribute to larger size of sexual minority women, using an ecological framework that elucidates upstream social determinants of health as well as individual risk factors. This model is infused with a minority stress model, which hypothesizes excess strain resulting from the stigma associated with oppressed minority identities such as woman, lesbian, bisexual, woman of color, and others. We argue that lack of attention to the upstream social determinants of health may result in individual-level victim blaming and interventions that do not address the root causes of minority stress or increased weight.
    Journal of Homosexuality 01/2015; 62(7). DOI:10.1080/00918369.2014.1003007 · 0.78 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little is known about whether the childhood family psychosocial environment affects coronary heart disease (CHD). Study objectives were to evaluate associations of childhood family psychosocial environment (termed "risky families"; characterized by cold, unaffectionate interactions, conflict, aggression, neglect, and/or low nurturance) with calculated risk for CHD. Study participants included 3554 participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study, aged 33 to 45 years. Childhood family psychosocial environment was measured using a risky family questionnaire via self-report. Ten-year CHD risk was calculated using the validated Framingham risk algorithm. In a multivariable-adjusted regression analysis adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, and childhood socioeconomic position, a 1-unit (range, 0-21) increase in risky family score was associated with 1.0% (95% confidence interval = 0.4%-1.7%) and 1.0% (95% confidence interval = 0.2%-1.8%) higher CHD risk in women and men, respectively. Multiple mediation analyses suggested significant indirect effects of education, income, depressive symptomatology, and anger-out expression in women and education in men, indicating that these may be mediating mechanisms between childhood psychosocial environment and CHD risk. Of the modifiable Framingham algorithm components, smoking (in women and men) and high-density lipoprotein (in women) were the factors most strongly associated with risky family score. Childhood family psychosocial environment was positively associated with the calculated 10-year CHD risk. Mechanisms may include the potential negative impact of childhood family psychosocial environment on later-life socioeconomic position (e.g., education in men and women) and/or psychosocial functioning (e.g., depression and anger-out expression in women), which may in turn lead to higher CHD risk, particularly through smoking (in men and women) and low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (in women).
    Psychosomatic Medicine 08/2011; 73(7):563-71. DOI:10.1097/PSY.0b013e318228c820 · 4.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the co-occurrence of health risk behaviors in childhood that may signal later addictive behavior. Using a survey, this study evaluated high calorie, low nutrient HCLN intake and video gaming behaviors in 964 fourth grade children over 18 months, with stress, sensation-seeking, inhibitory control, grades, perceived safety of environment, and demographic variables as predictors. SEM and growth curve analyses supported a co-occurrence model with some support for addiction specificity. Male gender, free/reduced lunch, low perceived safety and low inhibitory control independently predicted both gaming and HCLN intake. Ethnicity and low stress predicted HCLN. The findings raise questions about whether living in some impoverished neighborhoods may contribute to social isolation characterized by staying indoors, and HCLN intake and video gaming as compensatory behaviors. Future prevention programs could include skills training for inhibitory control, combined with changes in the built environment that increase safety, e.g., implementing Safe Routes to School Programs.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12/2011; 8(12):4406-24. DOI:10.3390/ijerph8124406 · 1.99 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from