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Higher socioeconomic status is related to healthier levels of fatness and fitness already at 3 to 5 years of age: The PREFIT project

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This study aimed to analyse the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and fatness and fitness in preschoolers. 2,638 preschoolers (3–5 years old; 47.2% girls) participated. SES was estimated from the parental educational and occupational levels, and the marital status. Fatness was assessed by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). Physical fitness components were assessed using the PREFIT battery. Preschoolers whose parents had higher educational levels had lower fatness (P < 0.05). BMI significantly differed across occupational levels of each parent (P < 0.05) and WHtR across paternal levels (P = 0.004). Musculoskeletal fitness was different across any SES factor (P < 0.05), except handgrip across paternal occupational levels (P ≥ 0.05). Preschoolers with high paternal occupation had higher speed/agility (P = 0.005), and those with high or low maternal education had higher VO2max (P = 0.046). Odds of being obese and having low musculoskeletal fitness was lower as SES was higher (P < 0.05). Those with married parents had higher cardiorespiratory fitness than single-parent ones (P = 0.010). School-based interventions should be aware of that children with low SES are at a higher risk of obesity and low fitness already in the first years of life.
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Keywords: Body composition; physical fitness; preschoolers; socioeconomic factors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: PROFITH “PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity” Research Group, Department of Physical and Sports Education, Faculty of Sports Science, University of Granada, Granada, Spain 2: Physical activity and sport sciences research group, Schools for Health Europe Network Research Group, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain 3: LFE Research Group, Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Science-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain 4: Department of Education and Specific Didactics, LIFE Research Group, University of Jaume I, Castellón, Spain 5: Health and Social Research Center, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain 6: Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain 7: Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Cádiz, Puerto Real, Spain 8: Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Dept Physical Education, Palmas de Gran Canaria University, Las Palmas, Spain 9: Department of Education, Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Almeria, Almería, Spain 10: GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) research group, Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2), Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Faculty of Health and Sport Science (FCSD, Ronda Misericordia 5, 22001-Huesca, Spain), Department of Physiatry and Nursing, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain 11: Institute for Innovation & Sustainable Development in Food Chain (IS-FOOD), Public University of Navarra, Campus de Arrosadía, Pamplona, Spain

Publication date: June 18, 2019

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