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Socioeconomic inequalities in children's weight, height and BMI trajectories in Norway.


Studies exploring when social inequalities in body mass index (BMI) and its composites emerge and how these evolve with age are limited. Thus, this study explored parental income and education related inequalities in children's weight, height, weight velocity and body mass index among Norwegian children from 1 month to 8 years. The study population included 59,927 family/children pairs participating in the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study. Growth was modelled using the Jenss-Bayley model and linear mixed effects analyses were conducted. Maternal and paternal educational differences in children's weight and BMI trajectories emerged during infancy, continuing to age 8 years. Parental income-related inequalities in children's weight were observed from the age of 1 month to 4 years for maternal and up to 1 year for paternal income-related differences but then disappeared. Parental income-related inequalities in child's BMI were observed from 18 months to 8 years for maternal income, and from 9 months to 8 years for paternal income-related differences. These results suggest that social inequalities in children's BMI present early in infancy and continue to 8 years of age. The inequalities sometimes differed by indicator of socioeconomic position used. Interventions to combat these inequalities early in life are, thus needed.

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