Research Topic

Socio-Economic Inequalities in Childhood Obesity

About this Research Topic

Obesity is considered to have reached epidemic proportions in both adult and child populations. The rapid rise in the prevalence of childhood obesity represents a major public health concern because obesity tends to track and children who are overweight or obese in early life are more likely to maintain this status into adolescence and adulthood with downstream consequences for health in later life.

There are pronounced socio-economic inequalities in the prevalence of obesity, and although there is some tentative evidence that rates of childhood obesity may be moderating, there is good evidence that the rate of moderation has not been equal across socio-economic groups which may serve to exacerbate inequalities. There is an urgent need to address the material (e.g., poverty, deprivation), structural (e.g., features of the built environment), and cultural factors (e.g., breastfeeding) that contribute to the emergence of these inequalities in early life, as recent research suggests that obesity may represent a major pathway through which social inequality gets biologically embedded contributing to socio-economic differentials in many age-related disease outcomes at older ages.

There is also a concomitant need to identify evidence-based initiatives that can be used to reduce socio-economic inequalities in obesity.

We welcome papers reporting cutting edge research on the mechanisms leading to social inequalities in childhood obesity, and particularly encourage submission of manuscripts that have prospective data, representative samples, or were designed as randomised control trials to reduce obesity. Original articles, but also meta analyses or literature review, are welcome

Potential topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
(a) Pre-conceptional, peri-conceptional, or post-conceptional health behaviours that contribute to socio-economic inequalities in obesity.
(b) Transgenerational “transmission” (social and biological) from parents to overweight or obese children and the influence of socioeconomic determinants on this transmission.
(c) Studies examining the psychosocial pathways through which obesity is built during childhood.
(d) Compositional or structural factors of the neighbourhood social environment that contribute to socio-economic inequalities.
(e) School-based or community-based interventions that have been shown to reduce socio-economic inequalities in obesity.
(f) Between-country differences in the prevalence of obesity and factors accounting for the same.


Keywords: body mass index, obesity, inequalities, childhood, longitudinal, interventions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Obesity is considered to have reached epidemic proportions in both adult and child populations. The rapid rise in the prevalence of childhood obesity represents a major public health concern because obesity tends to track and children who are overweight or obese in early life are more likely to maintain this status into adolescence and adulthood with downstream consequences for health in later life.

There are pronounced socio-economic inequalities in the prevalence of obesity, and although there is some tentative evidence that rates of childhood obesity may be moderating, there is good evidence that the rate of moderation has not been equal across socio-economic groups which may serve to exacerbate inequalities. There is an urgent need to address the material (e.g., poverty, deprivation), structural (e.g., features of the built environment), and cultural factors (e.g., breastfeeding) that contribute to the emergence of these inequalities in early life, as recent research suggests that obesity may represent a major pathway through which social inequality gets biologically embedded contributing to socio-economic differentials in many age-related disease outcomes at older ages.

There is also a concomitant need to identify evidence-based initiatives that can be used to reduce socio-economic inequalities in obesity.

We welcome papers reporting cutting edge research on the mechanisms leading to social inequalities in childhood obesity, and particularly encourage submission of manuscripts that have prospective data, representative samples, or were designed as randomised control trials to reduce obesity. Original articles, but also meta analyses or literature review, are welcome

Potential topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
(a) Pre-conceptional, peri-conceptional, or post-conceptional health behaviours that contribute to socio-economic inequalities in obesity.
(b) Transgenerational “transmission” (social and biological) from parents to overweight or obese children and the influence of socioeconomic determinants on this transmission.
(c) Studies examining the psychosocial pathways through which obesity is built during childhood.
(d) Compositional or structural factors of the neighbourhood social environment that contribute to socio-economic inequalities.
(e) School-based or community-based interventions that have been shown to reduce socio-economic inequalities in obesity.
(f) Between-country differences in the prevalence of obesity and factors accounting for the same.


Keywords: body mass index, obesity, inequalities, childhood, longitudinal, interventions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2019 Abstract
21 December 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2019 Abstract
21 December 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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